Search the Otago Polytechnic website

Industry of opportunity

Nick Keen has a culinary career that allows him to express his creative vision, and help influence the chefs of the future.

Nick Keen

Study

I’d worked previously as a restaurant cook—but the degree opened up a new world of possibilities.

“I’d worked previously as a restaurant cook—but the degree opened up a new world of possibilities.”

Nick Keen is currently employed as Executive Chef at the Mercure Resort Queenstown. It’s his first time running a kitchen, but he really enjoys the everyday challenges the position brings.

I love the variety – learning to work within the constraints of the hotel operations, but also being able to express myself within our hotel’s concept. I enjoy training up the new and younger chefs that I work with too.

Nick was finishing his New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4) a few years ago when he made the decision to enrol in the Bachelor of Culinary Arts. He knew that he had a passion for cooking, but he also had an eye to the future.

“I thought it would be a good chance to further develop my skills and do something a bit different within the industry.”

Two highlights of the degree for him were the charity dinne­­r that students organised and hosted in just the first year of the course, and the final year project where students could choose to work on whatever they wanted – so long as it fitted within the marking criteria.

Happy in his new role, Nick has this advice for others considering the degree: “Life’s too short not do what you love – you can do whatever you want in this industry, so long as you have the passion for it!”

Bachelor of Culinary Arts

Embark on a qualification – the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere – that will equip you for a career as a chef, artisan food producer, food writer, teacher, entrepreneur, promoter and much more! An option is available for those with relevant work experience through the assessment of prior learning facilitation process.

New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4)

Begin your journey from cook to chef. Involving lots of hands-on, practical cooking in our training kitchens, and a work experience opportunity, this qualification will expand the skills you have developed in a Level 3 cookery programme.

Student

Nick Keen

Study

Bachelor of Culinary Arts

Embark on a qualification – the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere – that will equip you for a career as a chef, artisan food producer, food writer, teacher, entrepreneur, promoter and much more! An option is available for those with relevant work experience through the assessment of prior learning facilitation process.

New Zealand Certificate in Cookery (Level 4)

Begin your journey from cook to chef. Involving lots of hands-on, practical cooking in our training kitchens, and a work experience opportunity, this qualification will expand the skills you have developed in a Level 3 cookery programme.