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The National Indigenous Culinary Institute (NICI) has garnered the support of a number of top restaurants including Tetsuys's, Aria and Bistro Moncur to join their accredited training program.
Established by Bill Wavish (former Woolworths executive), Barry McDonald (founder of Fratelli Fresh) and David Baffsky (tourism veteran), the Institute aims to provide Indigenous trainee chefs with the opportunity to learn from the best in the business.
Indigenous trainees first participate in a four week Skills for Success program where they get to work with chefs at a number of top restaurants. After graduating, trainees are selected to take on a three year training course where they work in three different restaurants and undertake a qualification. The three year program was developed by chefs Neil Perry and Guillaume Brahami, restaurateurs Michael McMahon and Barry McDonald and food writers and critics Jill Dupleix and Terry Durack.
Neil Perry who will be mentoring a number of trainees at his restaurant Rockpool said ‘Our longer term aim is for Indigenous chefs to be a major force in the Australian restaurant industry.'
Cain Slater, Coordinator NICI said ‘The restaurants involved in last year's NICI program have enormous praise for the training, dedication and skills from the students they have employed. They have now recommended their friends who own hatted restaurants to get involved and help increase the employment of Indigenous people in the hospitality industry.'
The qualification is delivered by hospitality educator William Angliss Institute with the assistance of the Indigenous Land Corporation, and it is supported by the Australian Government through the Indigenous Education Program.
Source: Hospitality magazine