Meet The Austalian Team
After nearly 2 decades in the hospitality industry, chasing accolades, working with the world's best chefs to gain experience, I have worked more than 4 and a half decades worth of hours. The 100 hour weeks, 20 hour days were once a badge of honour, now they are an innate picture of a life that was under duress and exploited for someone else’s glory.
There have been years of failings and negative contributions that have led me to a place of being able to lean into a team that requires both positive and negative actions, a team that requires a conversation to help them through, an approach of leadership that can do as well as say.
I stand proudly as a survivor of suicide and believe that we should be able to f**k the stigma because it is catastrophic when it doesn’t need to be, we should be able to be open and honest not afraid of talking about mental health and its effects on us as humans.
Until recently, I was a chef for 22 years. Aged 23, I enrolled in two 15-week Hospitality courses, and I loved being in a kitchen. Cooking gave me life skills, purpose.
I worked in large 300-seater pubs to 40-seater cafes and everything in between, but I realised I was losing my way. I eventually had a breakdown in the middle of service one busy Sunday. I had been studying Mental Health, so I knew exactly what was going on... I had burnt out.
I discovered the Burnt Chef Project whilst researching becoming an advocate for Mental Health in the Hospitality Industry. I realised NO ONE in Australia was doing what the BCP was doing.
I want to give back to an industry that has given me so much.
I want people who are struggling to be aware that there is help available, and it is not weak to speak up. We need to stamp out the macho, ‘toughen up’, ‘if you can't stand the heat...’ mindset.
Bev has been a professional chef for the last 25 years. Growing up in the Otway ranges in south west Victoria he learnt very young about food connection. His career has taken him through most facets of the Australian hospitality industry including hotels, restaurants, cafes, boutique healthcare and major function and events centres. He was offered his first head chef role at 23 and has been working in senior executive chef and food and beverage manager roles for the past 10 years.
In recent years he has run his own boutique catering company, been executive chef of large volume 5 star hotels, running hospitality and retail services for Federation University and now executive chef at The Sands golf resort and hotel on Victoria's surf coast.
Bev is passionate about food connection having presented, filmed and produced food tv show 'food to eat' which currently airs in the USA with stints on pay tv in Australia. He is a huge supporter of industry wide mental health initiatives after struggling himself over many years and actively embeds positive work practices in his teams.
I am a second generation Chef with 20 years experience in the industry. Completed my apprenticeship in Tasmania, then made the move to Geelong, Australia where I have been based for the last 15 years. I have worked from dishwashing to venue management and now happily leading and inspiring teams as an Executive Chef. 5 years ago I started suffering from Anxiety, my pursuit for what I thought success looks like, saw me ignoring my own health and not being present in my own relationships.
The measure of success for members of our industry has been to work hard, long hours and wear it as a badge of honour. Signs of exhaustion, depression and burnout are more often than not ignored or labelled as weakness.
Our industry is the best industry in the world! I am committed to supporting the Burnt Chef Project, and to contributing to stamping out the stigma in our great profession