Pieta Fleming - 2017 NextGen winner.


Applications are now open for aspiring chefs interested in working with some of the best in the industry, as part of Ōra King Salmon’s 2018 mentoring programme, NextGen.

Now in its third year, the Ōra King Next Generation (NextGen) mentoring programme gives future stars of the culinary world the opportunity to work alongside three top Kiwi chefs.

Ōra King Salmon has confirmed chefs Shaun Tyagi (Harbourside Ocean Bar Grill, Auckland), Shaun Clouston (Logan Brown, Wellington) and Ben Batterbury (True South Dining Room, Queenstown) will form this year’s mentor panel.

This industry initiative helps young chefs develop the skills needed to succeed in New Zealand’s fast-paced foodservice industry, offering a rare opportunity to capitalise on the skills and experience of established chefs.

Shaun Clouston comments, “The Ōra King Next Generation mentoring programme is a fantastic opportunity for chefs starting out in the industry. It’s a tough but rewarding career, and this unique programme is a chance for ambitious chefs to fully immerse themselves in the kitchen, diversify their skill set, and learn from some of New Zealand’s most talented chefs.

“It’s an incredibly rewarding experience for the mentors too, especially as we watch the young chefs grow, develop and succeed in the industry.”

The Ōra King NextGen mentoring programme is open to all chefs who have a passion to learn and develop. Ideally applicants will have a couple of years’ commercial kitchen experience and are either Commis or Chef de Partie level. Applications will be considered on a case by case basis however, so promising individuals with less experience but who are highly ambitious will be considered.

This year, the successful applicants of the Ōra King NextGen programme will receive a $1,000 grant to cover costs for the duration of their week-long mentorship.

The programme is split into two phases:

  • Three successful applicants will take part in a one-week placement at the allocated mentor’s restaurant between 3 April and 13 May.
  • NextGen Chefs, with support from their mentors, will cater for their peers showcasing the skills they have learnt at an exclusive industry event to be held on 6 June.

New Zealand King Salmon marketing general manager Jemma McCowan says that Ōra King is committed to nurturing young talent and developing the quality of all professionals in the industry.

“The Ōra King NextGen programme has been so successful, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer it for a third year in New Zealand. The talent in this country is truly incredible and this industry initiative is part of our commitment to developing and nurturing this talent. Of course, we couldn’t do it without our mentors – securing these highly sought-after chef mentors is integral for the success of the programme.

“We really appreciate the generosity that Ben and the respective Shauns have shown to give our younger talent a unique insight into the industry, and a kick-start to their career ambitions .”

Entries for the Ōra King NextGen mentoring programme open on 12 February at http://orakingsalmon.co.nz/nextgeneration. They close on 11 March.

Each applicant must have the consent of his or her head chef or employer to enter and must be available to participate in both stages of the programme.

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