Industry giant Christine Manfield will join with chefs Jemma Whiteman (Good Luck Pinbone), Danielle Alvarez (Fred’s), O Tama Carey (Sri Lankan Filling Station) and wine journalist Mike Bennie to launch Women in Hospitality’s (WOHO) mentor program at Banksia Bistro on 25 September from 6.30 to 9pm.

It’s the first event for the mentoring initiative from WOHO, a not-for-profit organisation which was founded by Julia Campbell in 2016 with the goal of supporting women in all facets of the hospitality industry — restaurateurs, chefs, waiters, sommeliers and business managers — and across various stages of their careers.

During the program mentors will share their experiences being mentored and mentoring during their own careers.

“Part of the pleasure of cooking for me is being surrounded by others who are equally excited about food, knowledgeable in their own right or eager to learn”, says Carey. “Being able to nurture and mentor these qualities in someone is a great joy.”

Each round of mentoring goes for three months, during which mentees will be provided with a minimum of 18 hours one-on-one contact with their mentor.  The opportunity will enable mentees to learn from and gain hands-on experience with some of the most experienced professionals in the industry.

The mentoring program is open to women in hospitality at all stages of their career. The first round will be chef and wine focused, with the program broadening in subsequent rounds, eventually including an opportunity to undertake a brewing scholarship provided by Young Henry’s at TAFE.

WOHO board member Jane Strode, a long-standing mentor for the Tasting Success program at TAFE, will manage the program along with the rest of the WOHO board to ensure applicants are matched with the most suitable mentors.

Strode said the WOHO mentorship program would pair up-and-comers with established members of the hospitality industry in a relaxed, tailored way that works best for each duo.

“We are focusing on creating shared experiences that make the passing on of knowledge a treat for all involved. By bringing like-minded hospitality workers at different stages of their careers together we are hoping to make what can be a tough industry that little bit easier,” says Strode.

“I had the privilege of being mentored by pastry chef Lorraine Godsmark earlier in my career who taught me how to successfully navigate the pressures and personalities that come hand in hand with any good restaurant.

“Twenty or so years later I can still hear her words when I am training my own new staff members. To be on the other side and to be able to give back is especially gratifying.”

Tickets can be purchased here.

Image: O Tama Carey via The Australian. 




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