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Anchor Food Professionals gives apprentice chefs a life-changing experience

Apprentice chefs from all over Australia will participate in a life-changing experience as Anchor Food Professionals announces 32 finalists for its 2019 Proud to Be a Chef program.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Proud to be a Chef – Australia’s number one foodservice mentoring program – helps create tomorrow’s culinary leaders through the recognition, professional development and ongoing support of today’s apprentices.

Applicants for the program were evaluated based on their culinary passion, aspirations, goals and long-term commitment to becoming a chef, as well as an original recipe submission utilizing a Fonterra dairy ingredient.

With the full program agenda to be unveiled once the finalists arrive in Melbourne next February, the all-expenses paid experience will include field tours, skills workshops, dining at prominent restaurants and educational classes with industry leaders.

“We are passionate about the foodservice industry, which is why we help to support apprentice chefs stay engaged and inspired about their career choice,” says Anchor Food Professionals Director Jeff Dhu.

“Our theme for the 2019 program is encouraging sustainability. We have previously focused on resilience and this year we are taking that one step further to encompass building a sustainable career in the industry, whether as a chef, restaurateur or whatever path our participants take,” says Jeff.

The 32 finalists for the Proud to be a Chef 2019 program are:


Victoria Queensland
Triston Gilli, Lucy Lockett Emma Arkinstall, Nineteen
Darren Chen, Black Toro Brandon Hardiman, Nineteen
Stephanie Orchard, Mr Hive Poppi Olive, HONTO
Danika Alt, MCG (Spotless) Jessica Lord, Novotel Brisbane
Clarence Chow, Koko Sarah Hunt, Fat Noodle
Ashlea Perkins, The Royal Mail Hotel Tom Barrick, Hot Production
Lachlan Thorn, Volpino Matthew Smith, Brightwater Hotel
Darcy Nicoll, Royal Standard Hotel  
Jamieson Beaman, Taxi South Australia
Tess Wilson, Glace Kira Fontana, Grand Hotel Millicent
Joel Noble, The Playford Adelaide Hotel
New South Wales & ACT  
Chris Greentree, Emerson’s Tasmania
Naren Adhikari, Park Hyatt Chaya Rainbird, Cataract on Paterson
Brody McNamara, The Garden Berry
Tannah Moran, Kokomo’s Western Australia
Justin Martin, Tumbulgum Tavern Jessica Marshall, Juniper Aged Care
Jordan Frost, Merimbula RSL Shannon Holdsworth, Sweetwater
Irene San Andres, Angourie Rainforest Resort Tori Pickens, Millbrook Winery
Zoe Johnson, Dee Why RSL Brent Pedlar, Red Cabbage


The four-day mentoring program culminates with an opportunity for our finalists to showcase their talents and skills in preparing a dish of their own creation, capped by an awards night where one finalist will be presented with the jewel in the Proud to Be a Chef crown – an International Culinary Scholarship valued at $7,500 tailored to their personal interests and professional goals.

Mentors for the 2019 program will be Scott Pickett, chef/owner of Pickett & Co including the recently opened Matilda restaurant; Christy Tania, internationally acclaimed pastry chef and owner of Glace Dessert Artisanal; and Peter Wright, Anchor Food Professionals Executive Chef. The finalists will have the opportunity to work ‘up close and personal’ with these mentors both through masterclasses and site visits to restaurants.

Proud to be a Chef extends a big thank you to everyone who took the time to apply for the 2019 program and extends the warmest congratulations to the 32 finalists who represent tomorrow’s leaders of foodservice.