About Celia

Celia Hay's great love of delicious food, fine wine and the art of hospitality led her to establish in 1995, Hay's Restaurant in Christchurch and the New Zealand School of Food and Wine, now located in Auckland's Viaduct. 

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. Celia holds the French Wine Scholar credential and is certified by the Society of Wine Educators.

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.

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. In 2019/20 The New Zealand Wine Guide (2nd ed) was published.

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 part of Auckland Unlimited Study Auckland was involved in the development of Auckland's Food and Beverage strategy under Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development.

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

June Hay of Pigeon Bay

June Hay of Pigeon Bay (1931-1923).

Forests of France: old oak trees tranformed into wine barrels

Forests of France: old oak trees transformed into wine barrels

Hospices de Beaune Museum of Wine and Food

The reputation of France as gastronomic food and wine powerhouse is evident when you visit the medieval town of Beaune, in the heart of Burgundy's wine country. The Hospices de Beaune Annual Wine Auction launches host of food and wine events.

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 books for those with a keen interest in food and wine and running hospitality businesses.

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)

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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