Three young chefs from around the country have been given the chance to work with their idols in the 2017 Ōra King Next Generation mentoring programme. The young chefs will spend up to a week working in the kitchens of their mentors in May, before showcasing their new skills at an exclusive industry event held at Merediths in June.

The three mentors are Michael Meredith of Merediths, Marc Soper of Wharekauhau Country Estate and Darren Wright of Chillingworth Road. The three successful young chefs are Adrian Gerard Sorano, 22, demi chef/commis chef at Peppers on the Point, Rotorua, who will be working with Michael Meredith, Ryan Prouting, 20, chef at Chillingworth Road in Christchurch, who will be mentored by Marc Soper, and Peita Cherry Fleming, 24, commis chef at Dunedin’s Parcels Restaurant, who will join Darren Wright.

Wright is excited about his restaurant’s dual role as mentor and mentee. “It is an excellent opportunity to showcase Chillingworth Road and we are very lucky to have Ryan involved in the programme, too. I believe the skills he will learn will be invaluable to his growth as a chef and to his role at Chillingworth Road,” he said.

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 are very proud to announce the three aspiring mentee chefs and offer them the opportunity to work alongside NextGen mentor chefs Darren, Marc and Michael,” she said. “The mentors will give our younger talent a unique insight into the industry and provide opportunities to harness their skillset and fuel their ambition. The skills they will learn will be invaluable to their future as chefs and within their current roles.”