Entries Now Open for Fonterra’s Proud To Be A Chef Mentoring Program 2016

Aspiring Aussie apprentices encouraged to apply for the culinary experience of a lifetime — Entries are now open for the 17th annual Fonterra Proud to be a Chef mentoring program, presenting Australian apprentice chefs with the culinary experience of a lifetime.

Thirty-two talented apprentice chefs will be selected to take part in the highly acclaimed, all-expense paid program held in Melbourne in February 2016. Of the thirty-two finalists, one apprentice will receive the major prize – $7,500 to spend on an international culinary paid placement, exclusively personalised to their aspirations as a professional chef.

From Sunday 21st to Thursday 25th February 2016, the finalist group will be presented with the unique opportunity to be mentored by esteemed Australian culinary leaders, Anna Polyviou – Executive Pastry Chef at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, Josh Pelham – Head Chef at ESP (Estelle by Scott Pickett) in Melbourne and Peter Wright – Foodservice Expert and Global Event Specialist.

The 4 day program will treat finalists with the opportunity to dine at award-winning restaurants across Melbourne, whilst culinary master classes provide a platform for the apprentices to learn and develop new skills from the cream of the crop of the Australian foodservice industry.

Growing trends around food sustainability are mirrored in this year’s program theme, set to educate finalists on the field to fork journey with a field trip to Western Star dairy heartland, at Cobden in Regional Victoria.

In addition to this, the program will be culminated with each of the finalists cooking an original creation and work with a food photographer to see their dish and recipe come to life and be published in the pages of the annual Fonterra Proud to be a Chef yearbook.

Fonterra Proud to be a Chef coordinator Carolyn Plummer shared Fonterra’s anticipations for the program now in its seventeenth year, “This wonderful program has cultivated some of Australia’s best talent in the food industry, supporting hundreds of trainee chefs since its inception in 1996.

“Through the Proud to be a Chef program, Fonterra is committed to investing in Australia’s culinary industry, both recognising and rewarding up-and-coming chefs and future leaders in the food industry in Australia,” added Carolyn.

With an impressive list of Proud to be a Chef alumni, including the well-respected and highly regarded George Calombaris, the program enables emerging apprentices to make a name for themselves abroad and extend their skills and expertise in the kitchen.

2015 winner, Mitchell Tucker from Tugun, Queensland has embarked on his international placement in the big apple – New York!

“It’s fantastic to follow the journey of our overall winners like Mitchell, but it’s equally as rewarding to see our thirty-two strong team working in top kitchens with renowned chefs and mentors,” said Carolyn.

Judging throughout the program is conducted by an expert panel of industry professionals including chefs, educators and representatives from the Australian Culinary Federation and Fonterra Foodservice.

Entries for this year’s 2016 program are open from now until 31 October 2015 and all passionate apprentice chefs in Australia are encouraged to enter via www.fonterraproudtobeachef.com.au or the Fonterra Proud to be a Chef Facebook page www.facebook.com/proudtobeachef.