15 Sep 2010

Cordon Bleu Institute to open school in capital

8:43 pm on 15 September 2010

Restaurateurs say news that the world-famous Cordon Bleu Institute is setting up a cooking school in Wellington is a coup for the capital.

Earlier plans to build a school in the Wairarapa were stymied by some Martinborough residents who feared the complex would overload the town's infrastructure.

The New Zealand Centre of Culinary and Hospitality Excellence is a partnership between the Paris-based Cordon Bleu Institute, the Universal College of Learning and the Wellington Institute of Technology.

The school will open in 2011 and it is estimated the facility will train up to 700 students each year. Those involved in the venture say it will boost the Wellington economy by about $30 million a year.

Cordon Bleu International chief executive Andre Cointreau says New Zealand has a growing reputation for award-winning wine and food.

The president of the Restaurant Association of New Zealand, Mike Egan, says restaurateurs hope some of the 500 international students passing through each year will get a taste for Wellington.

South Wairarapa Mayor Adrienne Staples says it was disappointing when the Martinborough site fell through but is pleased that the region will benefit.