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Entries open for apprentice chef competition

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Kiwi apprentice chefs are urged to register now to win a once in a lifetime opportunity through Fonterra Foodservices' Proud to be a Chef competition.

Up and coming culinary stars have twice the opportunity to win a place in the 2012 event. Four New Zealanders, rather than two, will have the chance to win a place at the Australasian Proud to be a Chef final in Melbourne.

Successful Kiwi applicants will receive return flights to Melbourne, three nights' hotel accommodation, hands-on mentoring, masterclasses with world leading chefs and three nights dining at award winning restaurants.

One of the 30 Australasian Proud to be a Chef participants will win the major prize of an international culinary scholarship valued at $7500 and tailored to the winner's aspirations for their professional career as a chef.

But first, Kiwi contenders must make it through a New Zealand cook off event in which eight hand-picked finalists will compete to see who can stand the heat of the kitchen to find the four winners to head to Melbourne in early 2012.

Fonterra Marketing Manager for Foodservices, Stephanie Hague, said supporting the development of rising culinary talent in New Zealand is a key priority for the business.

"Proud to be a Chef is one of the most prestigious mentoring programmes for young chefs in this part of the world. We are delighted with the success of our New Zealand chefs last year and thrilled to offer an even bigger and better competition this time around."

This year's New Zealand Proud to be chefs will have a tough act to follow behind 2010 winner Elliott Pinn from Christchurch who was awarded co first place with Teresa Joe from Auckland. Elliott is a big advocate for the competition which he says gave him a real leg up in the industry in terms of networking, building contacts and learning from amazing chefs.

"One of the nicest things about the competition was that I got to meet others who are just as passionate about cooking as me. I suggest anyone who has the chance gives it a go," says Elliott who currently works at The George Hotel in Christchurch and is about to head to Melbourne then on to the UK and Europe where he will gain work experience in several Michelin starred restaurants as well as Peter Gordon's The Providores in London.

Fonterra Foodservices has just announced the masterclass chefs to lead the 2012 Australasian Proud to be a Chef final and these include Philippe Mouchel from PM24, Adam D'Sylva from Coda, Pierrick Boyer from Le Petit Gateau Patisserie and RACV Club and Peter Wright, National President Australian Culinary Federation. This year each masterclass chef will also choose an apprentice who shows promise in his or her particular area of expertise to spend a week working with him at his restaurant.

Proud to be a Chef is open to all apprentice chefs, 18 years or older, who are currently enrolled in a cooking training course at a government recognised training provider. Entrants must be New Zealand citizens or hold a valid New Zealand work permit.

The programme has a nine-year history in Australian foodservice and was reinvented by Fonterra Foodservices in 2008 as a way of publicly recognising and rewarding the vital contribution that chefs make to the industry.

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