APPRENTICE chefs across Queensland have just under two weeks to apply for the culinary experience of a lifetime - the 16th annual Fonterra Proud to be a Chef 2015 mentoring program.
Thirty-two finalists will be selected to take part in the all-expense paid program held in Melbourne, Victoria, with one apprentice receiving the major prize of $7500 to spend on an international culinary paid placement, tailored to their aspirations as a professional chef.
Four apprentice chefs from Queensland were involved in the program last year (with one taking out the award for most innovative dish), and Fonterra hopes to see that number grow even higher in 2015.
From Monday, February 23 to Thursday, February 26 2015, the finalists will participate in culinary master classes, dine at award-winning Melbourne restaurants and have an incredible opportunity to learn, develop new skills and be mentored by some of Australia's culinary leaders, including:
- Joe Grbac, Head Chef and Co-Owner at Saint Crispin
- Zac Nicholson, Head Chef at Rockpool Bar & Grill, Melbourne
- Peter Wright, Foodservice Expert and Global Event Specialist
All apprentices involved in the program will cook an original creation and work with a food photographer to see the dish and recipe come to life and published.
Fonterra Proud to be a Chef co-ordinator Carolyn Plummer said the team were again excited to be offering the program, which has supported over 400 trainee chefs over the past 16 years and established a legacy as a unique and rewarding experience for Australian apprentice chefs.
"The program is Fonterra's opportunity to support future leaders and to recognise and reward the talented trainee chefs who make a vital contribution to our industry and will one day be its leaders," Ms Plummer said.
"Fonterra Proud to be a Chef is in many ways the culinary experience with the lot - catering to apprentice chefs of all backgrounds and skills."
Fonterra Proud to be a Chef has an impressive list of alumni including industry great George Calombaris, known throughout Australia for his role as a MasterChef judge.
Last year's winner Ashlee Carter from Margaret River, Western Australia, is currently undertaking a placement at Tetsuya's in Sydney before heading to Spain to gain experience in the Michelin star restaurant El Poblet in Valencia.
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 2014 are open from now until October 31, 2014 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.
Entry is open to apprentice chefs aged 18 and above who are enrolled in a culinary course anywhere in Australia as at 23 February, 2015.
Participants must also be Australian citizens or hold an eligible Australian work visa.