The Proud to be a Chef program recognises, develops and supports apprentice chefs to become the culinary leaders of tomorrow.
Investing in the foodservice industry at a grass roots level assists in the continuous improvement and development of culinary standards and professionalism in Australia.
Each year, Anchor™ Food Professionals provide the opportunity for 32 aspiring, young apprentice chefs to embark on a remarkable culinary experience. In February 2023, finalists will fly to Melbourne for a 4-day food adventure, introducing apprentices to a series of extraordinary dining experiences and trips to some of Australia’s most famous food inspired locations.
Proud to be a Chef is a diverse and fast-paced mentoring programme led by 3 inspirational, Australian mentors. Previous guests and mentors have included Lisa Van Zanten, Adrian Richardson, Shannon Martinez, Christy Tania, Scott Pickett, Charlie Carrington, Frank Camora, Tony Twitchett, Anna Polyviou, Teague Ezard, Josh Pelham, Darren Purchese, Adam D’Sylva and more.
Over 600 apprentice chefs have participated in the Proud to be a Chef program since it's commencement in 1996. At the conclusion of the program each year, the judges and masterchefs select one apprentice to award a culinary scholarship for their demonstrated commitment to their profession and their passion for food. Past recipients include:
Our goal is to Encourage, Reward and Recognise future culinary leaders in foodservice.
Mark is currently an Executive Chef Consultant in Australia, Asia and beyond with key roles as Wagyu Beef ambassador for the Gifu prefecture of Japan, Yuzu ambassador for Kochi Japan, Executive chef for Tune Hotel Group Malaysia and Executive Chef for the Royal Melbourne show 2019. His career highlights to date have been hosting food and culture tours to Japan, India, Vietnam Cambodia and Sri Lanka and working alongside the original Iron Chefs of Japan.
Melbourne-born, and Singapore-raised - this unique combination has fuelled the inspiration for Pastry Chef Kay-Lene Tan's dessert creations. Growing up in a Peranakan household, she was always surrounded by great food. She started her culinary journey in Singapore, working for some of the world's best chefs such as Chef Joel Robuchon, and Chef Andres Lara. She is currently the Executive Pastry Chef of Tonka and Coda in Melbourne, and was also recently made the Head Chef of Tonka. She was the recipient of the Hostplus Hospitality Scholarship 2018, which gave her the opportunity to work with Dominique Crenn at Atelier Crenn (San Francisco), and Ana Ros at Hisa Franko (Slovenia). She was also the winner of the Rising Star award at the FoodService Magazine Women In FoodService Awards 2017, and the first runner-up in the San Pellegrino Young Chef Pacific 2015. Chef Kay-Lene creates desserts that are reminiscent of her time spent roaming the vibrant streets of Singapore with her family.
Announced as the Head Chef of Melbourne’s Maha restaurant at just 23 years old, Daniel Giraldo is a driven young chef of great talent. Born in Colombia but grown up in the United states, Daniel worked for several years in the Dominican Republic before traveling extensively through the Europe, South & Central America to develop a palate and sensibility across a diverse range of cuisines. He firmly believes that training and professional development is essential to his success in hospitality. Upon his arrival in Melbourne (2011), Daniel worked his way through several Melbourne restaurants and hotels making it to sous chef. After almost two years in this role he was offered an opportunity to work under ex-Vue de Monde Head Chef, Andrew Harmer at The Point Albert Park where he spent his time there as a Sous chef. Daniel was appointed Sous chef at Shane Delia’s Maha restaurant in early 2014 and within 6 months was offered the Head chef role. Every year since Daniel has retained its one Chef Hat in The Age Good Food Guide under Daniel’s leadership, since then the Delia group has grown, Maha east and Maha bar joined the flagship restaurant group. Now 8 years later Daniel is the Group Head Chef where he oversees not just Maha but the entire Delia group. His experience and dedication extends beyond the restaurant setting and into high profile catering events around Melbourne including the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, TheAustralian Open, The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and other high profile events with corporate companies such as Mercedes benz AMG. & Host plus.
32 finalists from across Australia will participate in an all expenses paid, 4 day culinary journey in February 2023.
Apprentice chefs that are passionate about food, are committed to the foodservice industry and love to learn and try new experiences should enter the program.
To complete your application, you’ll need create an original recipe and tell us why you are passionate about food and cookery, where you would like your apprenticeship to take you and what you are hoping to get out of the mentoring program.
Applications close Monday 31 October
Being selected as one of 32 finalists is an exceptional prize, and one standout apprentice is crowned the winner of the Proud to be a Chef event, winning a Culinary Scholarship tailored to their individual aspirations as a professional chef.
Two additional winners will also be announced for their outstanding achievements.
Hear what some of our past finalists have to say about the Proud to be a Chef program