Celia Hay

About Celia

Celia Hay's great love of delicious food, fine wine and the art of hospitality led her to establish Hay's Restaurant in 1994 and the New Zealand School of Food and Wine in 1995 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Using certified organic lamb, sourced from her family farm, Inveralloch in Pigeon Bay, Banks Peninsula, Celia was able to carve out a unique dining experience at Hay's. Under Celia's guidance Hay's Restaurant developed an extensive winelist, featuring over 200 premium New Zealand wines and achieved the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence from 2005 - 2009.

Both businesses flourished and Celia went on to established the Duvauchelle Store and Café located in Akaroa Harbour and Celia's Pies, a concept for healthy pies featuring the organic Pigeon Bay lamb and a lower fat pastry. On February 22, 2011 a series of devastating earthquakes struck Christchurch forcing the closure of Hay's Restaurant and the relocation of the New Zealand School of Food and Wine to Auckland.

Celia is a qualified chef and holds the WSET (London) Diploma of Wine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Education (Distinction) and MBA Master of Business Administration from the University of Canterbury. In 2016 Celia gained the French Wine Scholar credential and is certified by the Society of Wine Educators.

Drawing on Celia's wealth of experience as a chef and restaurateur she has been able to develop a range of comprehensive New Zealand Qualifications Authority programmes and short courses to reflect the growing skills needed by hospitality and tourism businesses. These courses are enjoyed by people who wish to pursue a career in food and beverage as well as food and wine lovers who are curious and just want to learn more. 

Celia's book, How to Grow your Hospitality Businessa guide for owners and managers provides invaluable advice to hospitality students and people wishing to establish their own café, restaurant or catering business. The 3rd edition was published in 2017.

In 2014, Celia published The New Zealand Wine Guide which was awarded the Gourmand World Book Awards Best in the World for Wine and Tourism. This is approved as the textbook NZQA wine unit standards. Currently, Celia is working on a new edition of this book.

Celia is founding chair - president of the New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association and a member of Foodwriters New Zealand.

Celia sits on the board of Heart of the City, Auckland City's Business Association and is involved in the development of Auckland's Food and Beverage strategy with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and Auckland's international education strategy with ATEED's Study Auckland education advisory group.

Celia has three children, Oliver, Daniel and Alice and regularly travels south to Inveralloch, the family farm in Pigeon Bay and the home of the Hay Family since 1843.

Latest Blog Entries

Okains Bay Museum

Walking into the Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum Banks Peninsula, it’s hard not to feel the urge to salute the mighty totara tree, once so abundant on Banks Peninsula, and now remembered as waka (canoe), or fence post or roof shingles or tiles.

Remembering Christchurch Earthquake 10 years later.

Everyone living in Christchurch has their own personal story of this time; some of tragedy or heroism, others recalling small steps to help friends or family or strangers or even to offer emotional support to rise-up again after such challenges.

Two new wine qualifications launch this year

Celia Hay is launching the new courses this year at the New Zealand School of Food and Wine, which she founded in 1995 in Christchurch, then relocated to Auckland in 2011 after the quakes.

New Zealand School of Food & Wine

Founded by Celia Hay, the New Zealand School of Food & Wine has been educating the next generation of baristas, chefs, restaurant & café managers, sommeliers and wine professionals, hospitality- tourism entrepreneurs as well as people who just love good food since 1995.

Located in Auckland's Viaduct, our NZQA New Zealand Government accredited qualifications offer practical hands-on cooking and hospitality-tourism focused certificates, taught by a team of chefs, restaurant managers and wine professionals who are experts in their field and focused on the success of our students. Click here to read more about the school. 

Keep in touch

Celia publishes a monthly newsletter for the New Zealand School of Food & Wine. Please fill out your details below to susbscribe. 

Celia's Books

Celia Hay has written two excellent publications, which can be used as a valuable professional resource and for those with a keen interest in food and wine.

New Zealand Wine Guide (2nd Ed)

New Zealand Wine Guide (2nd Ed)

This book appeals to wine enthusiasts as well as those looking to develop their professional wine knowledge.


How to Grow Your Hospitality Business (3rd Ed)

How to Grow Your Hospitality Business (3rd Ed)

If you are looking to make a financial commitment into a hospitality business, this eye-opening book will be exactly what you need.


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