By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier

Some big-name chefs are putting themselves forward for guidance in the first round of the Women in Hospitality (WOHO) mentorship program.

The program is launching on 25 September at Banksia Bistro, and the chefs that will be offering up their services include Danielle Alvarez of Merivale’s Fred’s; Jemma Whiteman of Good Luck Pinbone; and O Tama Carey of Sri Lankan Filling Station. Rounding out the mentors are Mike Bennie, wine writer, and one of Australia’s most famed culinary ambassadors, Christine Mansfield.

The mentorship program will last three months, with mentees to receive at least 18 hours of one-on-one time with their advisor. The program is open to women at any stage in their hospitality career, with this first round of the program focusing on chefs and wine. Later rounds of the program will have a more broad hospitality focus. One such round will also include a scholarship from Young Henry’s for a brewing course at TAFE.

The program will be managed by WOHO board member Jane Strode, who will lead the board members in pairing applicants with a bright future with the most appropriate mentor.

“We are focusing on creating shared experiences that make the passing on of knowledge a treat for all involved. By bringing like-minded hospitality workers at different stages of their careers together we are hoping to make what can be a tough industry that little bit easier,” stated Strode.

The lauded chef knows from personal experience just how valuable this kind of guidance can be for someone just starting out in hospitality.

“I had the privilege of being mentored by pastry chef Lorraine Godsmark earlier in my career who taught me how to successfully navigate the pressures and personalities that come hand in hand with any good restaurant. Twenty or so years later I can still hear her words when I am training my own new staff members. To be on the other side and to be able to give back is especially gratifying.”

More information on the program launch can be found here.

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