Ross Lusted and Josh Niland inspire culinary students in Sydney
Hosted in partnership with American Express, the Q&A saw Ross Lusted, chef and owner of The Bridge Room, and Josh Niland, chef and owner of Saint Peter, discuss their culinary journeys in front of 70 TAFE and William Blue Hospitality College students and teachers.
Niland, who began his career at 14 years old, confessed to going through difficult patches in his career.
“The industry is evolving very quickly and we’re modifying our businesses to suit the lifestyles of younger guys coming through,” he said.
“There are so many chefs out there that have done the hard yards and are trying to create better environments now where you have a part of your life back and you can have a weekend off every now and again. When it’s hard it’s bloody hard but you have to stick with your guns because good things will happen. There’s so much potential in the hospitality world, it’s exciting.”
Lusted said travelling and exploring different flavours and cultures influenced his cuisine and can be very inspiring for young chefs.
“I cooked Thai food with David Thompson for four years but only really understood it when I went to Thailand,” he said. “Its culture and its history and it’s something you can’t learn just cooking in a restaurant…you can only learn it if you’re immersed in it.”
According to a recent report by Deloitte Access Economics, Australia is experiencing a staggering chef shortage. More than 38,000 chefs are needed across the country, meanwhile 50 per cent of budding chefs drop out of TAFE apprenticeships.
Mangan launched the Inspired Series in 2015 with Richard Branson in hopes to address this issue, by giving students access to the knowledge of some of the best chefs and hospitality professionals in the country.
“Mentoring programs like these are an integral part of our industry’s future and act as a fantastic support network for the next generation to lean on for advice and guidance both professionally and personally,” said Mangan.