Fonterra Proud to be a Chef introduces mentors

17 August, 2017 by
Madeline Woolway

The 19th year of the Fonterra Proud to Be a Chef program has kicked off with launch events in Melbourne and Sydney to introduce this year’s program mentors.

The program is designed to help create tomorrow’s culinary leaders through the recognition, professional development and ongoing support of today’s apprentices.

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Fonterra director of foodservice Jeff Dhu said: “This is a program that we love doing for the way it helps nurture the next generation of talented, passionate and hard-working Australian culinary apprentices.”

Fonterra foodservice channel marketing manager Alastair McCausland added: “Chefs are struggling today to get good people in the foodservice industry and keep them there. Proud to be a Chef is all about investing in those apprentice Chefs so they have the life skills they need that will see them through in this business.

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“If they’re applying for the program, then it means they have passion and want to build a career, and those are the very people who need a good mentor. It’s so important because it enables you to talk about issues you have, not only in the day’s work but in your personal life too. I worked under Michael Lambie who was my head chef when I was an apprentice and over time we became friends, and that becomes a relationship that can last a lifetime.”

Frank Camorra, Chef/Owner of award-winning MoVida Bar de Tapas, described Proud to be a Chef as “a great opportunity for apprentices to be able to step back for a week, and work alongside your peers as you get an amazing experience and mentoring — you’ll never get this chance again so take it while it’s there.”

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“It’s not just about interacting with people who have been in the industry for a while — it’s also the fact that you’ll be with a group of your peers who are in the same boat you are. They are dealing with the same issues and facing the same anxieties, working out if this career really is for them. So it provides an opportunity for everyone to understand there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I want to encourage the apprentices not only to pick my brain, but also each other’s as that will help them to work out where they need to be,” he says.

Entries are now open for Fonterra Proud to be a Chef 2018 and close on October 31. For a list of previous winners, finalists and mentors, entry forms and contact information click here.