‘College of Food’ Called for by London Think Tank – Should the Kiwi Industry Take Note?

According to the think tank ‘Centre for London’, a world-beating College of Food should be established in London with a mission to transform culinary education and support the hospitality industry to recover from COVID-19 and Brexit.

Centre for London believes that existing courses at further education colleges across the city should come under a recognised brand creating a new centre of excellence backed by world-class teaching standards.

The think tank has argued that a College of Food would nurture local talent into professional cooking to reverse falling course up-take and give chefs the skills that restaurants and caterers need. The school would also promote inclusivity in a sector where women and minority Londoners struggle to progress, as well as attracting investment to repair the longstanding underfunding of culinary education and establish the UK as a centre for food innovation.

It begs the question about whether a similar type of College of Food could be established in New Zealand.

The hospitality and foodservice sectors here in New Zealand have been ravished by COVID-19, but the pandemic has also spurred the return of some top Kiwi talent, coming home after years overseas. Before the pandemic hit, New Zealand had a thriving industry and with world-renowned chefs on our shores, our culinary efforts should be more globally known – just as our wine industry is.

There are eight state-funded universities in this country, along with 16 Institutes of Polytechnics – most of which offer some form of hospitality or tourism training. Not to mention the many Private Training Establishments.

An umbrella of excellence (for the foodservice industry in particular) could heighten the level of expertise shared to those training for the sector and a world-class brand could be created. We could nurture local talent, promote inclusivity, and attract investment just as the think tank suggested for London.

With the Kiwi hospitality and foodservice industries needing as much help as possible to bounce back post-pandemic, it’s definitely food for thought.

Restaurant & Café magazine would like to explore training opportunities in foodservice and hospitality further. If you work with a training facility, or in the industry, we would love to know what you think about the state of hospitality training in New Zealand and the idea of a New Zealand College of Food, contact us today: sophie@reviewmags.com