Entries for the 2018 Fonterra’s Proud to be a Chef  foodservice mentoring program open to apprentices on 1 August.

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

“Our focus is on identifying and developing the raw talent of those incredibly passionate young Chefs who want to excel in the foodservice industry,” explains Fonterra Foodservice Channel marketing manager Alastair McCausland. “We aim to provide them with the best mentoring experience possible, not just for the duration of the program but over the longer term to ensure they stay engaged and inspired about a career in the kitchen.”

Each February the Proud to be a Chef judges choose 32 finalists who are flown to Melbourne to take part in the all-expenses paid four day mentoring program including field tours, skills workshops, dining at prominent restaurants and educational classes with industry leaders. At the end of the program the standout apprentice is awarded the title of Proud to be a Chef winner and receives an international culinary scholarship tailored to their personal interests and goals as a professional chef.

Mentors for the 2018 program will be Frank Camorra, chef/owner of MoVida Bar de Tapas; Tony Twitchett, executive chef of Taxi Kitchen Melbourne; and Peter Wright, Fonterra Foodservice executive chef.

“These leading foodservice professionals have made their mark in the industry and are now focused on giving back to the next generation of apprentice chefs – it’s terrific to have them on board,” Alastair affirms. “The program gives our apprentices the chance to work up close and personal with these mentors through masterclasses and in their own restaurants.”

2017 Proud to be a Chef winner, Giles Gabutina from Tetsuya’s in Sydney, first applied for the 2016 program, encouraged by his employer at the time.

“She told me it was an amazing opportunity for an apprentice to see how the industry works and have one-on-ones with culinary leaders. I didn’t get in the first time, so when I found out applications were open for 2017 I was onto it 100 percent and fortunate to get through on my second attempt,” says Gabutina.

“Being a chef is not just about the food — it’s about making connections and getting as much knowledge as possible, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity. The chefs took so much of their time to mentor and nurture you and show you what goes on behind the scenes.”

For full details about Proud to be a Chef, including video interviews with winners, finalists and mentors, entry forms and contact information please visit the website.

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