Aria’s Brightest Star Awarded Scholarship

On 1 July, Mark Bashinsky, sous chef at Aria Restaurant in Brisbane, was announced as the winner of the inaugural HostPlus Hospitality Scholarship supported by Melbourne Food and Wine.

The Australia-wide industry scholarship program was launched in March 2014 during Melbourne Food and Wine Festival presented by Bank of Melbourne, and offers an up-and-coming star from Australia’s hospitality industry the opportunity to gain exclusive international work experience and a one-year mentor program with an industry leader.

On presenting Mark with the scholarship award at Melbourne’s Stokehouse City, Natalie O’Brien, CEO, MFW said, “We’re delighted to award Mark Bashinsky with the HostPlus Hospitality Scholarship award for 2014. Following an in-depth judging process reviewing high calibre applicants from right across Australia and from a range of professions, Mark demonstrated all the qualities of a future leader in Australia’s hospitality industry: a high standard of professionalism, a strong desire to build on his skills and experience, plus unlimited passion for his craft. On behalf of Melbourne Food and Wine, I congratulate Mark and warmly welcome him as a MFW and HostPlus ambassador on the next phase of his scholarship journey.”

Umberto Mecchi, executive manager, strategy and marketing at HostPlus said, “After rising through the ranks at Aria Restaurant, we believe Mark is at a point in his career where he will benefit immensely from the scholarship by further developing his culinary skills and bringing these back to share with his team.”

On accepting the scholarship Mark said, “I’m very honoured to receive the scholarship award. I’m looking forward the next 12 months and the learnings and experiences I can bring back to share with the Aria team.

“Thank you to HostPlus and Melbourne Food and Wine for this incredible opportunity.”

Following an apprenticeship and five years working at the prestigious Aria Restaurant in Sydney, Mark moved to Queensland to assist with the opening of Aria Restaurant in Brisbane where he has been sous chef for five years. Mark will embark on his international work experience in the second half of 2014 and will work closely with Melbourne Food and Wine and HostPlus to tailor his once-in-a-lifetime trip to three renowned restaurants overseas. Mark will be documenting his learnings from each work experience in a series of video blogs shared through MFW and HostPlussocial media channels over the coming months.

Mark will also be connected with a MFW legend for a year-long mentoring program.

The runner-up finalists represented a broad range of professions within the hospitality industry:

Clare Burder, owner/director, Eminence Wines and owner/director, The Humble Tumbler, Melbourne
Ben Jacob, executive chef and site manager, Sodexo Australia/PricewaterhouseCoopers, Perth
Glen Nolen, brewer and production manager, Mildura Brewery, Mildura

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