Past Events

The aim of this Level 5 Culinary Arts course unit is to enable students to develop the knowledge and skills required to plan and organise food and beverage events including resource management, event logistics, catering requirements and supervision of food production operations. Students will apply their learning to a real-life food and beverage event.  This is what the students did in 2017

Culinary Arts Culteral Quiz and Dinner - raised over $4700 for Billy Dravtzki

Indian, Nepalese and European style cuisine will be on the menu when students cook for a cause

Students in their last year of the Culinary Arts Diploma at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) will don their whites in one of their final projects to raise money for local mountainbiker Billy Dravitzki. At just 16-years-old, Dravitzki is confined to a wheelchair and paralysed from the waist down after a devastating mountainbike accident on Kaka Track near Nelson in August.

A team of seven second year chefs, under the name Buzzy Bees chose to centre their fundraising efforts on a local good cause. NMIT Culinary Arts Chef tutor Chris Fortune said Dravitzki was attending physio in Queensland at the Making Strides organisation which cost $6,000 a visit. Dravitzki needed to visit the centre twice a year. "This is about creating awareness around this young man and also getting our culinary students to showcase some of their involvement."

The Diploma in Culinary Arts is a new twist on the old cooking certificate offered by NMIT. Fortune said the course had changed a lot since he studied 22 years ago. The old cooking class was focused on "how long can you stand in front of a stove and don't think, but do as you're told?", he said. "The new way of cookery with culinary arts is everything from front of house to community to sustainability. Culinary art incorporates the whole wellbeing of cooking.

"It's about where your product comes from, how did it get to you, who are the end users and all the steps along the way." Fortune said half the class were international students, including Indian, Nepalese and Chinese students so ethnic flavours would be reflected in the food at he fundraiser.

The Buzzy Bee team has to organise everything including marketing, advertising and food. The budding chefs are ready to cater to nearly 100 keen quiz-goers at the fundraiser evening. Culinary Arts student Shannyn Riley said the team was looking forward to creating the cultural food platters. .

She said the preparation was "going pretty good" with nearly half the tickets sold. Culinary Arts student Nicki McGinniety had a son in the same class as Dravitzki last year and was still in touch with the family.

"To be paralysed at 16 is tragic." She hoped he would be able to walk again despite the slim two per cent chance of recovery. "At the end of the day, miracles do happen."

Food For Thought - Raised over $2500 for Food For Families Nelson

A team of trainee chefs are readying to dish out a serving of community kindness and raise money for Food for Families, Nelson.

Students in their last year of the Culinary Arts Diploma at Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) will cater to a bustling crowd all for a good cause and you're invited.

With tasty multi-cultural treats and thoughtful talks from local food producers on the menu the student-run event is hoping to be a success for charity organisation.

Dubbed Food For Thought the fundraiser will be held at Nelson's Trafalgar Centre on Wednesday, June 14.  NMIT Culinary Arts level five tutor Chris Fortune said his students were given the task to choose a "worthwhile" organisation that directly impacted Nelson's people.  He said the opportunity to set up and run an event was an enormous task but allowed the students to learn beyond the classroom while contributing to their community.

"[It] is about giving rather than just cooking in a kitchen," he said.

"It's about not just engaging them in what happens in front of them but a bigger picture: whether that's sustainability, community, marketing and networking with locals."

The students running the event have organised to have guest speakers from Pics Peanut Butter, Kono, Raeward Fresh and Wangapeka Family Dairy there to share some of their trade secrets over freshly cooked and prepared meals.

Every dollar raised on the evening will go toward Food for Families, Nelson.

The not-for-profit organisation offers food relief  to victims of natural disaster, poverty, families who have suffered under financial strains or physical and mental health obstacles that may have left them without adequate food.

The volunteers at Food for Families pack healthy, natural foods up to be distributed to those in need.They rely solely on the support of Nelson's' business community and private donations.

Food For Thought is the second catered charity event. Last month a team organised a fundraising event at the Boatshed for Billy Dravitzki.The money raised on the evening went towards funding for Billy's expensive physiotherapy treatments.

Fortune said the evening was a great success on all fronts.

Tickets to Food For Thought are $25 and available through the Nelson Culinary Arts website:

For more information on Food For Families, Nelson contact Martin on 0210515664 or email