Three young chefs have made the cut to work with their idols in the 2017 Ōra King Next Generation mentoring programme (NextGen) including Peita Fleming, Commis Chef at Distinction Dunedin’s Parcels Restaurant.
In its second year, NextGen aims to nurture future stars of the culinary world. The industry initiative offers young chefs a rare opportunity to capitalise on the skills and experience of some of the country’s most prolific chefs.
To apply, chefs submitted a short video on why they wanted to work with the mentors. A panel of Ōra King judges then selected three mentees, including Peita based on their previous culinary experiences and drive to develop their skills.
The successful young chefs will each take part in a one-week placement at their mentor’s restaurant. Then with support from their mentors, they will showcase their new skills at an exclusive industry event to be held at Merediths in Auckland in June 2017.
Co-owner and head chef Darren Wright at Chillingworth Road in Christchurch will mentor Peita in his kitchen 9-14 May. “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for my career and I am very excited to work alongside such an experienced chef like Darren. My long-term goal is to promote New Zealand food in new and innovative ways and to share my passions with the world,” Peita says.