Otago Polytechnic


  Sylvia Gilkinson
School Administrator ssmith@op.ac.nz

Since joining the team at Hospitality, I have become more aware of the difference between good service and bad service and the effect it can have. Our aim is to provide students with their best experience while studying at Otago Polytechnic so they will go on to become leading Hospitality professionals

  Helen White
School Administrator Bachelor of Culinary Arts HelenW@op.ac.nz

I have worked at Otago Poytechnic for ten years and enjoy helping students and the general public. Before that, I was a student in Business Administration so can empathise with students who are juggling full time study with family or work commitments. It is great to see the amazing range of opportunities available to Hospitality students and I would encourage anyone interested to come and see what the School has to offer.

Programme Managers / Coordinators / Professors

  Tony Heptinstall
Programme Manager heptin@op.ac.nz

Tony began working in the hospitality industry aged 10, at his parents pub in the UK. He has been working for Otago Polytechnic since 1997. His role as programme manager involves making sure that the school is a safe place to study and giving the students every opportunity to succeed. Tony teaches, assists, and is involved in the development and promotion of the Bachelor of Culinary Arts programme.

Publications and Research

Mitchell, R., Woodhouse, A., Heptinstall, T. and Camp, J. (2013) Why use design methodology in culinary arts education? Hospitality & Society 3: 3, pp. 241–262, doi: 10.1386/hosp.3.3.241

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  Dr Richard Mitchell
Professor rmitchell@op.ac.nz

Richard is a Professor and Research and Enterprise Leader for the Food Design Institute at Otago Polytechnic. His PhD in consumer loyalty in wine tourism is from the University of Otago. He also has a BA (Hons) in Geography from the University of Otago and Graduate Diplomas in Tertiary Education and in Tourism from Otago Polytechnic. He is a member of the managing committee for EatNZ, an industry body promoting New Zealand food to the world. He has previously been chair of the former New Zealand Food and Wine Tourism Network. His current diverse research interests include food design, disobedient models of education, food and beverage consumer behaviour and regional development. He takes s studentled approach to postgraduate supervision, having experience supervising postgraduate students with a range of methodologies and subjects, including workbased learning.

Publications and Research

Mitchell, R.D. (Ed.) (2014) Food Design on the Edge: Proceedings of the International Food Design Conference and Studio 2-4 July 2014, Dunedin, New Zealand. Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin. ISBN 978 – 0 – 908846 – 48 – 1

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  Adrian Woodhouse
Principal Lecturer/Academic Leader Bachelor of Culinary Arts adrianw@op.ac.nz

Adrian's professional background is a blend of contemporary food design and artisan food production. He describes his teaching ambition as "to inspire, motivate and teach students" and to "light the fire in their minds". He creates a learning environment that embraces the diversity of his students, giving them all have the opportunity to contribute and participate in the learning process. Adrian uses collaborative learning strategies to bring innovative approaches to his teaching.

Publications and Research

Woodhouse, A. (2016) Creating Utopian Culinary Identities - An examination of French colonial culinary structures and their impact on culinary cultural identity formation Symposium of Australian Gastronomy, 2-5 December, University of Melbourne and Sunday and Monday sessions at the William Angliss Institute.

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  Daniel Pfyl
Senior Lecturer Bachelor of Culinary Arts & Front of House danielp@op.ac.nz

Daniel has an extensive background in hospitality. Born in Switzerland, his experience has included executive chef roles for the Sultan of Brunei and the Hyatt Regency in New Delhi. Daniel began at Otago Polytechnic in 1999, and specialises in food beverage management, cost control and marketing. He holds a Graduate Certificate Level 7 (Tertiary Learning and Teaching) and a Bachelor of Applied Management (Food and Beverage). He received the Excellence in Teaching staff award in 2011 and then again in 2012 with the Bachelor of Culinary Arts Team. Subsequently the team was awarded the National Teaching Excellence Award in 2014 and now he is a member of the AKO Aotearoa Academy of Tertiary Teaching Excellence. Daniel is now working on his Master of Professional Practice.

Publications and Research

Pfyl, D. (2016) Project based learning in financial kitchen management. International Food and Design Symposium, Dunedin. http://www.fooddesign.org.nz/programme/

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  Stephen Ellwood
Senior Lecturer, Bachelor of Culinary Arts StephenE@op.ac.nz

Steve started as a lecturer at the Otago Polytechnic in 2006. He has an extensive background in hospitality spanning over twenty years in the industry. Steves main focus had been on the Hotel market and the management of industrial kitchens. His role now involves the Level Three Cookery foundation programs through to the Bachelor of Culinary Arts degree. He enjoys sharing his experiences in catering with students at all levels.

Publications and Research

Ellwood, S. (2010) Poached Sole Fillet, Ask a Chef column, Otago Daily Times, 28 July.

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  Julie Feary-Law
Lecturer, Cookery; Food Safety Manager Juliefl@op.ac.nz

Julie has had twenty years experience as chef in New Zealand and abroad. She has two passions the first is producing good, simple, honest food and the second is maintaining good food safety practices. She enjoys providing a flexible learning environment and helping students realise their full potential. Julie is the Health and Safety and Harassment and Bullying Officer. She looks forward to meeting new students and encouraging them on their chosen career.

Publications and Research

Mitchell, R., Woodhouse, A., Lane, M., Lynch, T., Baldwin, P., Feary-Law, J., Pfyl, D, Gillespie, D., and Schulz, W. (2015) White Night vs Black Forest: Remuera White Night Remuera White Night, Auckland Arts Festival, Remuera 14 March 2015.

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  David Gillespie
Lecturer, Bachelor of Culinary Arts dgillesp@op.ac.nz

David trained to be a professional chef back in the 80s. He believes that if you are interested in pursuing this industry, you need to be very enthusiastic. When he began his career, nouvelle cuisine did not exist, and now there are even more exciting culinary changes on the horizon. David enjoys being part of a constantly evolving industry, and helping his students graduate to bigger and better things.

Publications and Research

Woodhouse,A. Parsons,H. Gilespie,D. (2014) "Educator" the craft beer story. TBC

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  Mick McHugh
Lecturer, Cookery mmchugh@op.ac.nz

Mick started in the food industry in 1969 working nights after school before becoming a trainee chef. He moved to New Zealand in 1979. After becoming a qualified chef and running his own restaurant for six years, he took up a lecturing position at Otago Polytechnic. Mick enjoys seeing students grow in confidence and ability and feels his experience and knowledge are being put to good use.

  Fiona McLaren
Lecturer, Front of House FionaM@op.ac.nz

Fiona has had over twenty years experience in Hospitality and has worked in five different countries during her career. She began at Otago Polytechnic in 2005, and loves everything about Hospitality. Fiona enjoys sharing her insights and experience with her students as a Front of House lecturer in Hospitality across all the programmes from the sixmonth Caf and Bar, to the Bachelor of Culinary Arts degree.


Russell Carson
Technician RussellC@op.ac.nz

Sheelagh Walker-Heward
Technician sheelaghwh@op.ac.nz