A mentoring program for apprentice chefs across Australia and New Zealand has been launched by Fonterra Foodservice and entries are now being accepted for Fonterra Proud to be a Chef 2013.
Fonterra Proud to be a Chef provides 32 apprentice chefs a unique opportunity outside of their normal working environment to learn, develop new skills and be mentored by some of the best chefs in Australia.
One standout apprentice will receive the major prize of an international culinary scholarship, tailored to their individual aspirations as a professional chef.
A program with a long and esteemed history in Australian foodservice, Fonterra Proud to be a Chef is a way of publicly recognising, encouraging and rewarding the vital contribution that chefs make to our industry.
Now in its 14th year, Fonterra Proud to be a Chef has an impressive list of alumni including industry greats such as George Calombaris - MasterChef judge and owner of The Press Club, and Matthew Macartney - executive chef at Chateau Yering.
Carolyn Plummer, Fonterra Proud to be a Chef coordinator, says the program has received great support from the industry.
"Fonterra Proud to be a Chef is pleased to provide passionate apprentice chefs with a unique opportunity to learn, be inspired and work with some of Australia's best chefs," she said. "Fonterra encourages apprentice chefs to take pride in their culinary passion and is happy to provide a platform to recognise their hard work."
Last year's winner Sonja Dawson, received the major prize of an international placement at Per Se, ranked the number six restaurant in the world, and at the famous Payard Bakery. She will have the opportunity of a lifetime working in New York under esteemed chefs Thomas Keller and Francois Payard.
Sonja says winning Fonterra Proud to be a Chef was a huge boost to her confidence.
"Fonterra Proud to be a Chef was an incredible experience. It was so much fun to meet 31 other chefs who are just as interested in doing this work as I am," she said. "I learned so much from the mentor chefs and I am certain that winning the program has made be more employable."
"I am very excited for my upcoming trip to New York," she added. "For me the hospitality industry is about more than just working in the kitchen. I am interested in learning about the overall dining culture in New York - how people eat, how they socialise - I just want to soak up as much as I can."
This year, finalists will have the opportunity to learn from:
- Teage Ezard, owner of Ezard, Gingerboy and Black by Ezard
- Leigh Power, executive chef at Gingerboy
- Peter Wright, National President of the Australian Culinary Foundation
Applicants are evaluated on their demonstrated passion for food servicing as well as their aspirations, goals and commitment to chefing, and their performance in Fonterra Proud to be a Chef master classes. Judging is conducted by an expert panel of industry professionals including chefs, educators and representatives from the Australian Culinary Federation and Fonterra Foodservice.
Finalists will participate in the Fonterra Proud to be a Chef 2013 mentoring program in Melbourne from 25 to 28 February 2013. The master classes are part of an all-expense paid trip to Melbourne where applicants will have the opportunity to dine at award winning Melbourne restaurants.
Entries for 2013 are now open and all passionate apprentice chefs in Australia and New Zealand are encouraged to enter via www.fonterrafoodservices.com.au or via the Fonterra Proud to be a Chef Facebook page, www.facebook.com/proudtobeachef.
Entry is open to apprentice chefs aged 18 and above who are enrolled in a culinary course anywhere in Australia or New Zealand as at 25 February 2013. Participants must also be Australian or New Zealand citizens or hold an eligible Australian or New Zealand work visa.
Entries close on Wednesday 31 October, 2012.
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