Fonterra embarks on 24 years of Proud to be a Chef


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

In February 2024, 32 apprentice chefs from around Australia will head to Melbourne for a four-day gastronomic adventure, with extraordinary dining experiences, trips to some of Australia’s most famous food-inspired locations, and a fast-paced mentoring program with masterclasses and skills workshops.

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.

Headlining Proud to be a Chef as mentors for 2024 are the acclaimed Mark Normoyle – Iron Chef and Anchor Food Professionals Executive Chef, Joane Yeoh – Executive Pastry Chef and Founder of Kōri Ice Cream, and Stephen Nairn – Executive Chef of Omnia Bistro and Yugen Dining and Tea Bar.

This team joins the esteemed alumni of Proud to be a Chef mentors, including Estelle’s Scott Pickett, Ritz Carlton Executive Pastry Chef Kay-Lene Tan, and Adam D’Sylva of Coda and Tonka fame.

Fonterra Australia’s Foodservice Director Vic Landells said that Fonterra has a proud history of supporting the development of the next generation of culinary leaders.

“We pioneered the Proud to be a Chef program back in 1997 with the objective of nurturing the culinary talent of tomorrow by providing experiences not normally available to an apprentice chef just starting out.

“With a strong focus on mentorship, we aim to teach participants skills they will use for years to come, instil them with greater confidence and a sense that the sky’s the limit,” said Vic.

The proof is in the pudding – with previous winners securing placements with acclaimed chefs including Eric Teo at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Singapore, Dan Barber at Blue Hill Restaurant and Thomas Keller at Per Se in New York, as well as Michelin star restaurant El Poblet in Valencia, to name just a few.

“Many in the hospitality industry are doing it tough right now, particularly with labour shortages, so any support we can provide to develop and retain talent in a sector that plays such a huge role in our business is a win-win,” said Vic.

Applications for Proud to Be a Chef 2024 are open until 11.59pm on 22 October 2023. To enter, applicants need to submit an original recipe using an Anchor Food Professionals product and answer questions about their career aspirations. Visit for details.