At Every Turn.



The Fonterra 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, Fonterra Foodservice provide the opportunity for 32 aspiring, young apprentice chefs to embark on a remarkable culinary experience. In February 2018, 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 masterchefs. Previous guests and masterchefs have included George Colambaris, Anna Polyviou, Teague Ezard, Josh Pelham, Darren Purchese, Adam D’Sylva and more.

Over 430 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 an international culinary scholarship for their demonstrated commitment to their profession and their passion for food. Past recipients include:

  • 2017 Giles Gabutina
  • 2016 Jake McKenzie
  • 2015 Mitchell Tucker
  • 2014 Ashlee Carter
  • 2013 Jacob Hoskin
  • 2012 Sonja Dawson
  • 2011 Keryn van Kempen
  • 2010 Kate Ager
  • 2009 Robin Turner
  • 2004 Matthew Morris
  • 2003 Jonathon Kemble
  • 2002 Matthew Macartney
  • 2001 Candice Webber
  • 2000 Megan Knapp
  • 1999 George Calombaris
  • 1998 Karena Dunn
  • 1997 Rebecca Studer

From all over Australia

All Expenses paid

Master chefs
Learn from industry greats

International Prize
Choose your destination

The Experience

Giving back to the industry

Our goal is to Encourage, Reward and Recognise future culinary leaders in foodservice.

  • ExperiencesOffer extracurricular experiences to apprentice chefs.
  • RelationshipsProvide the opportunity to develop relationships with current and future chefs and educators.
  • EducationLearn how to get the most from dairy products in a commercial kitchen.

32 Fonterra Proud to be a Chef finalists shall participate in a 4 day all expenses paid event in Melbourne from 18th February 2018 to 22nd February 2018.

Highlights of the program will include:
  • MasterclassesA mixture of hands on and demonstrative classes will
    ensure finalists leave the program with more skills and
    culinary knowledge than when they arrived.
  • Fine diningThe program aims to expose the finalists to a range of dining styles and cuisines and a chance to experience the other side of the kitchen, in restaurants that are often unattainable on an apprentice chef’s wage

Who can enter?

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 be eligible for entry you must be:
  • An apprentice chef aged 18 years or older as at 18th of February, 2018
  • Enrolled in a Government recognised cooking course at the date of entry into the competition
  • A resident of Australia
  • Successful applicants may be subject to reference
    checks as part of the entry criteria

Please note: there are 3 parts to the online application, you will need to submit an original recipe in part 3. Your recipe must include a Fonterra product.

Download the Fonterra Catalogue here


The Prizes

Grand Prize

International Scholarship

Being selected as one of 32 finalist is an exceptional prize and one standout apprentice shall also be crowned winner of the 2018 Fonterra Proud to be a Chef event, winning  an International Culinary Scholarship tailored to their individual aspirations as a professional chef.

Best Sweet/Best Savoury Dishes

Two additional winners will also be announced for their outstanding achievement.

Fonterra Family

Western Star Perfect Italiano Mainland Anchor William Angliss Institute

Past Participants

Hear what some of our past finalists have to say about the Fonterra Proud to be a Chef program