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A life changing experience for 32 apprentice chefs 

  • March 06, 2019
  • 2 min read

For the 20th-year, 32 apprentice chefs from all over Australia have participated in a truly life-changing experience – Fonterra’s Proud to be a Chef mentoring program.

The four-day program was filled with culinary experiences which included masterclasses with industry leaders and an intense cook-off competition at William Angliss College.

Each year, the Proud to be a Chef program honours several finalists with scholarships and other awards.

Joel Noble, from Quality Training and Hospitality College, received the biggest award of the evening, the Proud to be a Chef International Culinary Scholarship. Valued at $7,500, the Scholarship will help enable Joel to pursue his career ambitions and goals as he continues in his path as a professional chef.

Chef, Peter Wright, fondly reminisced on Joel’s winning dish that got the aspiring chef over the line.

“His [Joel’s] cook-off presentation of a perfectly cooked duck dish with beetroot sauce - which is very difficult to achieve in such a limited timeframe - was exceptional,” Peter said.

The awards didn’t just go towards how good the food tasted - Justin Martin was rewarded for his skills on the ‘gram’, winning the Best Use of Social Media award. The guidelines of the prize involved all finalists being judged on their social posts throughout the event, using the hashtag #PTBAC19.

One of the judges of the category, Kym Gill, was impressed with Justin’s unique ability to engage and entertain social followers.

“Justin actively shared each step of his Proud to be a Chef journey, from the moment he got on the plane to Melbourne, through to the very last day.

“Not only was his coverage extensive, he’s very quick-witted and this came through in his use of captions and accompanying text,” Kym said.

Kym also expressed her delight that the program is still going strong after 20 years.

“Our 20th anniversary year has certainly been outstanding. We had 32 very engaged apprentice chefs who put 100 per cent of themselves into the program, and their demonstrated dedication, commitment and passion was exceptional.

“Each year the quality bar has been raised and that’s happened once again – our finalists just keep getting better and better,” said Kym.

Fonterra’s Proud to be a Chef program recognises, develops and supports apprentice chefs to become the culinary leaders of tomorrow. It aims to invest in the foodservice industry at a grass roots level to assist in the continuous improvement and development of culinary standards and professionalism in Australia.