How Menulog is helping boost employment opportunities for Indigenous chefs

Menulog is proud to support the National Indigenous Culinary Institute (NICI), Australia’s only industry-inspired and initiated organisation to offer training and experience for aspiring Indigenous chefs. Menulog makes an annual financial lump sum donation to support NICI to increase its staff and expand the organisation into key cities, reaching more restaurants and boosting employment opportunities for Indigenous chefs. In addition, we provide support through our restaurant network and marketing resources to help NICI achieve their goals.

Enabling expansion and growth
The organisation has grown and expanded significantly over the past year, which Menulog is extremely proud to have enabled. Most recently, NICI was able to hire another team member in South East QLD helping the organisation develop programs in Gold Coast and Brisbane areas. It’s great to see NICI grow from just one person when first partnering with them, to now a team of three!

Menulog’s support has also helped NICI expand into more regions, allowing more Indigenous apprentice chefs to be connected with meaningful employment opportunities. In the Sydney program alone this year so far, nine apprentice chefs have already gained employment at fantastic venues such as The Star and The Winery. The NICI is also currently working on expanding their programs to regional areas such as Tweed and Ballina, in addition to larger cities across Australia, which we’re glad to be able to support.

More about the National Indigenous Culinary Institute (NICI)

NICI offers elite training and experience for aspiring Indigenous chefs through mentorship by Australia’s top chefs at host restaurants from Rockpool Bar and Grill, Catalina, The Pines, Aria, The European, Movida, Icebergs Dining Room and Bar and many more. Originally designed by Neil Perry, Guillaume Brahimi, Michael McMahon, Jill Dupleix, Terry Durack and Barry McDonald, NICI’s program combines unique on-the-job training with a contemporary industry designed qualification.

Their apprentice chef program aims to produce a group of chefs trained in Australia’s top restaurants, who will be role models and leaders for up and coming Indigenous chefs. Read more about the organisation and the great work they do at

Menulog continues to support the NICI into 2022 and beyond, supporting the hospitality industry and creating more opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to gain meaningful, ongoing employment and education.

At the R&CA ‘Celebrating Industry’ Awards held recently in NSW and VIC, Menulog sponsored the ‘Indigenous Chef of the Year’ category in support of the NICI, recognising two Indigenous chefs that had successfully been through the NICI program. This was a great opportunity to help raise awareness about the inspiring work being done by the organisation, and giving well deserved recognition to two fantastic chefs.