Stellar line-up of mentors announced for young chef mentoring programme in NZ

Budding chefs can now apply to work with their idols as Ōra King salmon confirms the three New Zealand chefs who are leading its 2017 mentoring programme.

Applications are now open for The Ōra King Next Generation mentoring programme (NextGen) which aims to nurture future stars of the culinary world. This unique industry initiative offers young chefs a rare opportunity to capitalise on the skills and experience of some of the country’s most established chefs. Darren Wright (Chillingworth Road), Marc Soper (Wharekauhau Country Estate) and Michael Meredith (Merediths) form this year’s chef mentor panel and are committed to helping young chefs develop the essential skills needed to progress in New Zealand’s fast-paced food service industry.

Michael comments “If any young and ambitious chefs are looking to progress their career, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend applying to take part in The Ōra King Next Generation mentoring programme. It’s a fantastic opportunity to diversify their skill set, get some insights in some of the great kitchens in NZ, build upon their network and enjoy a completely new experience.”

He adds “It’s fantastic for the mentors too, as we get to nurture and inspire these young chefs who of the future of our 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 is the second year for the Ōra King NextGen programme in New Zealand and this year, Ōra King has expanded the offer into Australia where the programme will run in the same way.

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 9th April – 14th May 2017
  • NextGen Chefs, with support from their mentors, will cater for their peers showcasing the skills they have learnt at an exclusive industry event held at Merediths in June.

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

“We’re delighted to launch the Ōra King NextGen programme for a second year in New Zealand and also expand this industry initiative to Australia. Securing talented and highly sought after chef mentors across both countries is integral for the success of the programme.

Darren, Marc and Michael will give our younger talent a unique insight into the industry and provide opportunities to harness their skillset and fuel their ambition.”

Entries for the Ōra King NextGen mentoring programme are now open at from today (13th February). They close on 12th 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.

About Ōra King

Ōra King is a best-of-breed King salmon developed specifically for the food service industry. Ōra King is the result of a commitment to quality founded on a classic breeding programme born in the top of New Zealand’s South Island two decades ago. All of the company’s husbandry and breeding, everything which Ōra King represents, is dedicated to the professional cook. It is the best of the best. Ōra King is to salmon as Wagyu is to beef. 

About the Ōra King Awards

Ōra King also organises the annual Ōra awards to recognise outstanding contributions from chefs working with the brand. They are awarded in two categories; Best Ōra King Ambassador (international and domestic), and the Best Ōra King Dish (international and domestic).