32 aspiring chefs from around Australia selected to showcase their culinary skills 


For more than two decades, the Proud to be a Chef program, powered by Fonterra and Anchor Food Professionals, has helped to fast-track the careers of around 800 apprentice chefs, providing an unparalleled opportunity to learn from the best in the business and refine their culinary skills.

The next 32 aspiring culinary leaders have now been chosen from around Australia for a fast-paced mentoring program with acclaimed Iron Chef and Anchor Food Professionals Executive Chef – Mark Normoyle, Executive Pastry Chef and Founder of Kōri Ice Cream – Joane Yeoh, and Executive Chef of Omnia Bistro and Yugen Dining and Tea Bar – Stephen Nairn.

One standout apprentice who best demonstrates their passion, dedication, leadership and skills will be awarded a culinary scholarship tailored to their individual aspirations as a professional chef. 

Proud to be a Chef 2023 finalists

With previous winners securing placements at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Singapore, Per Se in New York, and Michelin star restaurant El Poblet in Valencia – participation in Proud to be a Chef proves that the world is their oyster.

Fonterra Australia’s Foodservice Director Vic Landells said that Fonterra and Anchor Food Professionals has a proud history of elevating young talent by providing a platform for young chefs to showcase their culinary skills.

“We started Proud to be a Chef almost 25 years ago to give young apprentices exposure to leading professional chefs through a life-changing mentoring program. The jam-packed four-day agenda helps to refine their skills and opens them up to the potential opportunities on offer as they take the next step in their careers.

“Our Australia-wide search has identified a wealth of serious talent and passion for the industry from right across the country. Our 2024 mentor chefs can’t wait to instill their own wisdom and knowledge in the next generation when the program kicks off in February,” Vic said.

As part of the program, the 32 finalists will travel to Melbourne from 4 to 7 February 2024 for a four-day, experiential journey of masterclasses with each of the mentors, skills workshops, dining at prominent restaurants like Omnia and Coda, and a full ‘paddock to plate’ experience by visiting a Fonterra dairy farm and cheese factory, before using the end-product to create their own dishes.

For more information, visit www.proudtobeachef.com.