Three finalists have been announced for Ora King Salmon’s industry mentoring program, NextGen. This is the first time the program, which young chefs the opportunity to capitalise on the skills and experience of some of Australia’s most established chefs, has run in Australia.

On the mentor panel are Ben O’Donoghue (Billykart Kitchen, Brisbane), Jason Roberts (Poku, Sydney) and Alejandro Saravia (Pastuso, Melbourne). Each chef has been paired with one of the finalists.

This year’s successful applicants are:

  • Viviek Venoharan, third year apprentice chef at Wolfe & Co., Dural, who will be working with Alejandro Saravia at Pastuso, Melbourne
  • Sophie Cornes, chef de partie at Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River, who will be working with Ben O’Donohughe at Billykart Kitchen, Brisbane
  • Sarah Maunder, head chef at Back Pocket, Melbourne, who will be working with Jason Roberts, Poku and the Bistro at Manly Pavilion

The program is split into two phases, with the three successful applicants now set to take part in a one-week placement at the allocated mentor’s restaurant between 9 April and 14 May.

In the second phase the NextGen chefs, with support from their mentors, will cater for their peers showcasing the skills they have learnt at the launch of the Ora King Awards in June.

“Ben, Jason and Alejandro will give our younger talent a unique insight into the industry and provide opportunities to harness their skillset and fuel their ambition,” said New Zealand King Salmon marketing general manager, Jemma McCowan.

Ben-O-Donoghue-Billykart-Kitchen.jpgBen O'Donoghue of Billykart Kitchen.

Jason-Roberts-Poku.jpgJason Roberts of Poku.

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