Celia Hay

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 organic lamb, sourced from her family farm 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 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 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 Canterbury University. 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 NZQA programmes and short courses to reflect the growing skills needed by hospitality 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 just want to learn more. 

Celia's book, How to Grow your Hospitality Business: a guide for owners and managers provides invaluable advice to hospitality students and people wishing to establish their own café, restaurant or catering business. The 4rd edition was published in November 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.

Celia is founding chairman - president of the New Zealand Sommeliers and Wine Professionals Association. Celia also sits on the Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) Study Auckland international education advisory group.

You can view a selection of Celia's recipes from her column in the New Zealand Herald's bite.co.nz. 

Celia has three children, Oliver 23, Daniel 21 and Alice 14 years and regularly travels south to the farm in Pigeon Bay.

Celia's Facebook and Twitter: @celia_hay

Instagram: nz_school_of_food_and_wine


Gourmnand opening sign 2Celia Hay 3.jpg

Pigeon Bay Top of slip in rocks

Inveralloch, Pigeon Bay, Banks Peninsula Canterbury


Celia's Publications

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.

Find out more