Introducing: The Cooking Collective

9 September 2019

Introducing: The Cooking Collective

Image: NorthTec tutor Brooke Irving standing outside The Apprentice Restaurant where The Cooking Collective classes will be held. 

NorthTec has started evening and weekend cooking classes for the general public to learn how to cook and prepare new and exciting food at the Apprentice Restaurant.

The new initiative, called The Cooking Collective, grew from an idea targeting people in the local Whangarei community who have a passion for cooking and want to learn more from professional chefs in first-rate kitchen facilities.

Lisette Buckle, Pathway Manager for Hospitality at NorthTec, says The Cooking Collective is about reaching a wider audience using NorthTec’s skills, facilities, and the tutors’ passion with the local community.

“We have a wide range of tutors with so many different culinary experiences and backgrounds and we want to share that with the community,” says Lisette. “It gives people a chance to learn in an environment that is supportive and encouraging – it’s a great way to meet new friends and know your community better.”

She goes on to say: “Right now we are teaching those that want to become professionals in the hospitality industry.  But with The Cooking Collective we can reach those that have a passion for cooking but maybe didn’t know where to start, or those that already do a bit at home, but want to further their knowledge in a particular area.”

NorthTec’s Cookery tutor, Brooke Irving, says cooking has become very “on-trend” with the growth of celebrity chefs, cooking shows and great places to dine out. Brooke will be teaching classes called, ‘Mexican Fiesta,’ ‘Street Food Fusion’ and ‘Cocktails and Canapés.’

“Diners and cooks alike are getting more sophisticated with their palettes and their talent. We saw an opening for foodies and home cooks to learn how to cook a specific dish, try a new cuisine or explore new techniques,” says Brooke.

She says: “The Cooking Collective is an opportunity for us to bring fine cooking to everyone. We realised there is a large group of people out there that want to learn how to cook without becoming a professional; foodies that want to brush up on their skills, maybe some that want to learn about baking, some want to learn the basics.  Or there are those that want to spend a few hours being creative and being able to eat the fruits of their labour and try something new!”

The Cooking Collective classes are conveniently timed to fit around people with busy lifestyles, with evenings or weekend classes - anyone and everyone is welcome to join the small classes of around 12 people.

All ingredients and equipment is provided, but it is advised to bring your own takeaway containers for the leftovers. After the class is finished, there is the opportunity to sit down and enjoy what you have created.

Classes start on 15th October, 2019. To find out more visit: or email 


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