Put on your apron and get cooking at a New Zealand cooking class! Unlock the secrets of Tuatua shellfish found only in New Zealand or enjoy making an irresistibly savoury mince and cheese pie dish!
Senior Chef is a free cookery class run by their local health board that aims to help senior citizens switch away from consuming only tea and toast as an energy draining diet.
Cooking classes are popular with individuals of all ages. Their social aspect helps combat isolation often associated with living alone and can spark new ideas and build confidence in the kitchen. Classes may take place anywhere from private chefs’ homes to restaurants or commercial kitchens and event spaces or gardens – the possibilities are limitless!
Age Concern Dunedin hosts a free Senior Chef cooking class where participants are busy grating cheese, chopping capsicums and cabbage into small bread-based quiches for lunch. Most participants are female; though there are also men attending. Many are Supergrans living alone while some others may have recently lost a partner and need to learn how to cook from scratch since then.
Learning new skills when living alone can be challenging, and it is easy to become stagnant when cooking for only yourself. Without anyone to remind you about use-by dates, an absence of planning may cause food waste.
At WELLfed, a group cooking program provides learners with low-cost recipes they can try at home – offering healthy eating as an added incentive.
Discover the joy of baking delicious and irresistible treats in relaxed small group settings. Classes specialize in bread while others focus on pastries or cakes, all materials needed are provided as well as recipes; some even offer light lunch!
Many high schools and colleges provide evening or weekend cooking classes as part of their adult education programme. Selwyn College in Auckland provides several food and cookery related courses specifically tailored for seniors – including an Introduction to Cooking course that introduces those just entering the kitchen for the first time to this aspect of cuisine.
The WELLfed Program in Porirua uses food and cooking as an avenue to social change, providing cooking lessons to build confidence in the kitchen while decreasing isolation and food insecurity. As a result, this has positive ramifications on families and the wider community.
Age Concern Rotorua offers a weekly cooking class where older adults come together to make healthy meals and socialise. Madam Alice Cheng and Madam Jamilah Binte Yaman have found this experience to be invaluable; both feel more confident in the kitchen now that they know more ways to make healthier decisions for themselves.
Akaroa Cooking School provides classes from their tranquil harbourside location in Akaroa. Their recipes often draw inspiration from Mediterranean, Italian and French cuisine; foraging/wild food workshops are also offered as specialty programs.
Cheese Making Classes
Are you a cheese enthusiast? Take an engaging hands-on cheese making class from experienced cheese makers such as Sheree Sullivan from Udder Delights in Auckland. Sheree practices the ancient craft of crafting artisan cheese such as feta, mozzarella and ricotta with skill.
Chris and Jill Rosevear of Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese in Kerikeri use their Jersey-cross herd to craft traditional British style cheeses like Red Leicester and Aged Cheddar with an exciting New Zealand flare. All cheese is aged on site at Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese for optimal aging results.
Alfred Alferink hails from Dutch heritage and has been crafting award-winning artisan cheeses using both cow’s milk and goat’s milk since 1981 in his Onewhero creamery, known as Onewhero Creamery. Alfred’s cheeses are supplied from North Waikato dairy farming region for production.
Cooking classes offer disabled and older adults the confidence and sense of purpose that come from learning the kitchen, as well as social connection. The Just Cook Healthy Aging programme offers four sessions over one month that teach cooking for two, meal planning/budgeting/food safety/grocery shopping skills.
New Zealand boasts many community and local groups offering cooking and baking courses. Auckland-based Main Course provides classes such as Fine Dining at Home, Middle Eastern Table, A Day in Italy and Asian Inspirations; Bohemein Chocolates offer Cocoa & Truffle Making Classes while Cupcake Sweeties provides six week Cupcake Sweetie Decorating Series courses and Licence to Ice runs a 6-Week Cake Decorating series for cake decoration classes.
New Zealand is known for its robust craft beer scene. Brewery tours provide visitors with the opportunity to learn about the brewing process as well as sample local beers; one such brewery tour available is at Tui brewery in Mangatainoka; including tasting paddles featuring their Tui Pale Ale, Mangatainoka Magic and Brew 1889 beers.
Tui Brewery provides small group tours for an informative experience of New Zealand culture and society. A typical brewery tour lasts 2 to 3 hours, providing an incredible insight into this part of New Zealand’s rich heritage.
New Zealand high schools and colleges also provide evening cooking classes specifically tailored for senior citizens. Selwyn College in Auckland has an adult education course lineup featuring various types of culinary courses for older learners.
No matter their skill level, senior New Zealanders love cooking. Some use it as an activity that keeps them active while making friends while others find it therapeutic or an important way to stay healthy.
Some individuals opt to obtain a certificate from Le Cordon Bleu to learn basic to advanced cooking techniques at its state-of-the-art facilities. You can discover more by visiting their website.