Chefs - Mentors Program

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Chefs - Mentors Program Developed as a 'draft 'by George Hill –

Mission Statement:

The mission for the “Emerging Leaders and Professional Chefs - Mentors Program” is to provide a supportive professional platform for emerging leaders and professional chefs that facilitates the professional development of emerging chefs, guide them through doors of opportunity, widen their horizons and steer them to a professional satisfying career.

The program encourages emerging leaders and professional commis/ cooks or chefs from ethnic backgrounds to seek guidance from committed and accomplished chefs to positively enhance their ability to achieve their full potential and / or assimilate into the Australian kitchen culture.

Target Market:

  • Open to Australian professional commis/cooks or chefs who have recently successfully completed their training at level three (or equivalent) in commercial cookery and seek ongoing advice from an assigned mentor on their career aspirations.
  • Open to professional chefs from emerging cultures who seek assistance to assimilating into the Australian professional cookery industry.
Targeted outcomes:
  • Assist emerging leaders and professional commis/cooks or chefs logically develop career objectives that will enable them build their profile and take their place as a future generation professional chef.
  • Assist commis/cooks or chefs from emerging cultures to integrate into the Australian professional cookery industry
  • Promote and maintaining professional practices, conventions and standards that appear to be eroding due to the depleting base of genuine professional chefs
  • Assist to overcome the shortage of professional chefs
  • Enlarged the base of professional chefs for the cookery industry
  • Add value to the Australian Professional Cookery Industry.
  • Develop a lifelong professional friendship developed between mentors and Mentorees.

Rules of association for mentors:

“As a mentor, it is your responsibility to provide guidance to your protégé based on his/her learning needs and development areas. You can accomplish this in several ways and through various roles. You could act as a resource, advisor, teacher, coach, model, sponsor, consultant or guide. Yet no matter what role you play, remember that you are responsible for being the expert in this relationship, or if need be for helping the protégé find access to the appropriate expert.”

To be eligible for appointment as a mentor by the board

  • Mentors will be appointed by the board taking into consideration:

- Industry experience

- Past performance

- Training and education

- Current industry responsibility

  • Be or have been an executive chef, head chef, executive sous chef. or have held a substantial kitchen management/ leadership role in their career.
  • Be willing to provide documented evidence of experience (curriculum vitae) to the management board.
  • Agree to abide by the “Australian Culinary Code of Practice” as set out on
  • Agree to attend a short seminar/program to explore the rational and role of a chef mentor including :

- Understanding the role and mutual benefits of a chefs mentoring program

- Learn strategies to develop and maintain a positive, open and supportive mentoring relationship

- Identify the protocols and appropriate boundaries associated with a mentoring relationship.

- Explore typical issues and problems that might occur at given points in a mentoring relationship

Mentors will need to:

  • Be willing to provide their perceptions honestly and fairly to their mentoree without making a value judgments.
  • Contact their mentoree at least twice a year
  • Agree to uphold the integrity and principles of the program
  • Agree not to charge a fee for service
  • Agree that all discussions with mentoree is held in professional confidence
  • Encourage mentoree to evaluate their own performance
  • Agree with the mentoree how the mentoring relationship will be conducted, including the amount of time involved for both parties, confidentiality of information and the scope of issues to be covered.
  • Discuss and clarify expectations and goals with their mentoree.
  • Assist the mentoree identify and evaluate options to achieve agreed goals.
  • Share appropriate experiences and knowledge with the mentoree to assist progress towards agreed goals.
  • Recognize and openly discuss changes in the mentoring relationship.
  • Inform the mentor board of problems that require additional or external assistance
  • Inform the board when the mentor relationship is to be terminated based on factors that may include:
- Inability of one party to continue participation - A need for assistance from others with different skill - Mutual decision to conclude the relationship - Changes in the dynamic of the relationship
  • Agree that they will not poach nor offer employment to the mentoree

Rules of association for mentorees

A mentoree should be proactive in developing future achievable goals and steps to reach their goals. Often chefs just out of their training either take on positions that they are not ready for, or need advice from a more experienced chef on career advancement. This program is not aimed only for the crucial embryonic career path decisions, but also for the small practical learning experiences. You may need to discuss a menu, or ask where you can obtain a particular ingredient or recipe or obtain advice on your reaction to a particular employment problem. This is where your mentor is also useful

Mentoree will need to:*

  • Have a desire to grow and mature into a professional chef or chef leader
  • Possess a unbiased learning attitude.
  • Have a genuine interest in being helped by your mentor
  • Be trustworthy, non-judgmental, ethical and self-confident.
  • Contact their mentoree at least twice a year
  • Be a good listener
To be eligible for approval as a mentoree by the board
  • Commis/ cooks or chefs who have just successfully completed their training at level three in commercial cookery (or equivalent recognised qualification)
  • Apply to enter the program within three years of completion of level three or equivalent studies
  • Agree to uphold the integrity and principles of the program
  • Agree to abide by the Australian Culinary Code of Practice as set out on
  • Agree to accept the assigned mentor
  • Agree that they will not solicit employment with their mentor
  • Agree that any mentors advice is intended to provide a knowledgeable, experienced and individual view, however cannot take into consideration all individual particular objectives, career aspirations or needs. Therefore the mentoree should, consider the appropriateness of this advice in regard to their personal objectives and further obtain additional opinions prior to making any major decisions.


  • The Australian Culinary Federation Victoria Inc, Academy Culinaire de France Inc and Les Toques Blanches Inc will be approached for support of the program.
  • The official website for this program will be
  • The site should include a helpline telephone number for young commis/cooks or chefs
  • The board retains the right to remove a mentor or mentoree

George Hill 16:10, 29 May 2011 (EST)

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