Food and wine international scholarship opens

Applications for the 2015 HostPlus Hospitality Scholarship supported by Melbourne Food and Wine will open 2 March, providing once-in-a-lifetime international work experience for a rising star in Australia’s hospitality industry.

The nationwide industry scholarship is open to individuals 18 – 30 years from any area in hospitality – be it in the kitchen, cellar, brewery, orchard or front of house. The winner will gain incredible access to Melbourne Food and Wine’s extensive global network to work in internationally-acclaimed venues worldwide.

Flown to three different countries to complete their work experience, they will be provided with $2000 spending money for their journey, and undertake an exclusive year-long mentorship with a local industry leader when they return. Building on the success of the 2014 inaugural scholarship that attracted applications from across Australia, this year’s scholarship has grown to also include state-based winners:

“We were thrilled with the calibre of applications we received in last year’s scholarship,” explained Natalie O’Brien, CEO, Melbourne Food and Wine. “As a way to extend our support for the industry on a national scale, we’ve decided to introduce state-based winners who will each receive a mentorship with a local industry leader as well.”

To enter the scholarship, applicants upload a short video online discussing their passion for the industry and explaining how they will use the opportunity to add value to their career in Australia. Submissions open 2 March to 10 April and the winner will be announced in May 2015.

The judging panel includes Natalie O’Brien, CEO, Melbourne Food and Wine; Umberto Mecchi, group executive, strategy, marketing and growth, HostPlus; Matteo Pignatelli from Restaurant Catering Australia; current MFW Legend Gail Donovan; and 2014 HostPlus Trailblazer Rafael Rashid.

2014 HostPlus Hospitality Scholarship winner Mark Bashinsky, sous chef, ARIA Restaurant Brisbane will speak about his whirlwind experience working in San Francisco, Paris and Tokyo at festival event Chef Jam supported by HostPlus S on 2 March. Mark will speak alongside a line-up of international culinary stars including Rodney Scott (Scott’s Bar-B-Que, Hemingway, USA) and founder of Return to Terroir, Nicolas Joly (Coulee de Serrant, Loire Valley).

2014 winner Mark Bashinsky’s thoughts on the scholarship program: 

For more information on the 2015 HostPlus Hospitality Scholarship go to

Image Provided by Amanda Fordyce

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