Why use design methodology in culinary arts education? | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 3, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2042-7913
  • E-ISSN: 2042-7921



Culinary arts education has remained largely unchanged for more than a century. Since the time of Auguste Escoffier, students have been taught French classical cookery using a master-apprentice model of education that began in the Middle Ages. While the vocational apprenticeship has been replaced in some instances by education delivered by public and private institutes, rote learning from a master continues. Contrast this with the fast pace of modern cookery and an outpouring of culinary innovation not seen in at least 150 years and you have an education system that simply cannot keep up. This article discusses the current culinary arts education system in New Zealand and identifies several forces that are highlighting the need for change. Food media’s popularizing of culinary design provides both inspiration and aspiration for those wanting to learn culinary arts. Meanwhile, the New Zealand Government promotes design through its technology curriculum and lauds design-led business and creative industries as the way of the future. Surrounding this is a growing global awareness of the challenges that we face in providing safe, sustainable and ethical food to an increasing population. The article concludes by briefly outlining how Otago Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Culinary Arts is attempting a paradigm shift that has N. Cross’ ‘designerly thinking’ at its core.


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