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Fonterra Proud to be a Chef Launch at Garden State Hotel

The World Loves Melbourne was invited to the launch of the Fonterra Proud to be a Chef Program at Garden State Hotel in Flinders Lane. This is one of the great apprentice programs in the hospitality industry. And if you're a chef why not apply for the upcoming intake!

Budding, young apprentice chefs have the chance to enter the culinary experience of a lifetime, while being mentored by Huxtaburger’s Daniel Wilson and Matteo’s Buddha Lo during a four-day all-expenses-paid program which has seen the likes of George Calombaris win when he was an apprentice. 

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The 18th annual Fonterra Proud to be a Chef competition selects just 32 applicants across Australia who will make it to the finals and join the ranks of masterchefs such as George Calombaris and Buddha Lo who all came through the program when they were apprentice chefs. 

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Australia has a current shortage of more than 3,000 chefs and the Fonterra Proud to be a Chef program rewards and encourages the next generation of chefs with a four day all-expenses paid program. 

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We nearly set a record for the longest mozzarella stretch...

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Finalists will experience an all-expenses paid four day program and competition in Melbourne, including return flights, luxury hotel accommodation and a fine-dining experience at three prominent Melbourne restaurants. 

  • Finalists will be trained and mentored by culinary leaders and master chefs including Matteo’s head chef Buddha Lo and Huxtaburger’s chef and owner Daniel Wilson
  • The program will include masterclasses led by Buddha Lo, Daniel Wilson and other industry leaders plus up-skilling workshops and field tours which are not accessible to the public
  • Each finalist will cook an original recipe which will be judged by a panel of industry experts
  • One apprentice will be crowned the Fonterra Proud to be a Chef winner and win a $7,500 international scholarship tailored to the winner’s aspirations as a professional chef 
  • Matteo’s head chef Buddha Lo was the 2010 runner up when he was an 18-year-old apprentice. He went onto became a head chef at the tender age of 21 and is now head chef at the iconic Melbourne restaurant Matteo’s  - and he’s only 24
  • Entries open September 1 and close in mid-November, all passionate Australian and New Zealand apprentice chefs are encouraged to stay updated and enter via the Facebook page 
  • Further information about the program can be found at 

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These doughnuts were crazy delicious...

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Garden State Hotel is a stylish pub with so much going on.

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Buddha says, “I felt just by being accepted into a program like this I had already won….Helping nurture the careers of young, talented chefs is a really important part of the foodservice industry.”