Forums Details

Connecting – Executive Chefs – Chef de Cuisines –  Cookery Teachers –  and other cook and chefs.

Please first read: “About The Cutting Edge” 

The Cutting Edge Forums Details Forum Videos
  • remains completely ready to  assist all cooks and chefs during this critical time. 
  • I believe it is good to think about the future; but you have to get there first:
  • To join this virtual connection you must be, or have been a commercial cookery cook of chef,  who maybe currently employed or otherwise.
  • Exceptions to this rule; are seniors who join for appropriate meetings in ” Seniors happy Hour”. 
  • This is a time to be nonpartisan, this is a time to simply open a conversation and listen to others who are all in the same boat in this unprecedented crisis.
  • Subsequently you may be a member of one of the major chefs’ associations ACF – LTB – AITC or are non-affiliated to any commercial cookery association. You may be a supplier who was a professional chef, a commercial cookery teacher – or in a commercial cookery activity (such as a consultant). 


  • Every meeting will have a theme and we encourage ideas for future discussions.
  • We will endeavour to have  2 – 3 chefs as an expert panel.
  • Pleases keep conversations professional, respect all visitors online, be positive, and provide ideas to assist each other, allow everyone the opportunity to participate and just support each other , even by just listening.

Agenda: 40 Minutes. Total online 55 Minutes (Approximate depending on topic)

“One Question”, 2 Panelists – 2 Expert Guests – Virtual Audience  and one Probable Conclusion
* May vary according to Topic.

1. Participants log on time window for the cutting edge online program.  15 Minutes
2. Panel members are asked for their perception on the topic/question .  10 Minutes
3. Questions to the panel by expert guests.   10 Minutes
4. General questions sent in by text , verbal comments, general opinions and summary. 20 minutes

Potential topics/ Questions:

1. Will  the Australian Commercial kitchen culture change?  ALL ABOUT: CULTURAL CHANGE.

(Stimuli propositions) Will here be a change in the commercial kitchen culture, and if so will the crisis see to the return of the “YES CHEF” mentality? * In earlier decades we have seen the “Authoritarian” personality dominate the kitchen brigade. However, more recently this has management style has changed, driven particularly as the “Industry and head chef” experienced shortages in staff.  Will this crisis  have the potential for substantial unemployment in the industry and a greater pool of people seeking work. * Is the “Yes Chef “authoritarian and unquestioned obedience style  of kitchen management going to return, or will the more inclusive style of leadership prevail.
2. What support and / or online resources will help cooks and chefs through this crisis? ALL ABOUT: TOOLS AND RESOURCES.

(Stimuli propositions) How long will this crisis take to bounce back tourism operations to 2019 levels. *  What type of online resources and links will help to assist apprentices’, trainees’ cooks, and chefs cope with the pressures of unemployment *  What should be placed on association websites and administrations action to immediately to assist their members.What policies, standards and procedures should chefs implement to ensure safety of their brigade, What potential hazard management plans should be added post crisis to the kitchen operation.
3. Will membership of a professional association be a career asset for Australian chefs post Covid-19. And  given the plethora of associations (currently currently more than nine legally constituted organisations and many more informal networks) should this crisis encourage the formation of one association? ALL ABOUT: CEMENTING RELATIONSHIPS.

(Stimuli propositions) Over 90% of professional chefs in Australia do not belong to any association why? * Many senior chefs are affiliated across multiple associations suggesting no single organisation provides all their needs *  Is it in the future interest for professionals to belong to a formal chef’s network *   Have chefs’ associations paid lip service to cooperating with each other, while being fundamentally parochial in seeking to merge into one. * Does the Covid crisis offer a unique opportunity to unify into one group of national unity with equal administrative and services sharing? *  Would it be more appropriate to have one “high court” for the want of a better description; an independent “Australian Culinary Council” elected from representatives of each association. *  Or alternatively, operate independently, but agree to sign a memorandum of understanding to accept a council of national unity decisions. * Has this crisis has given every chefs association the opportunity to think about the issue of amalgamation? *  Should, members require their administrations to start exploring the opportunities for a “one association approach”; where industrial registration, clear ladders of membership are established, and continuous professional development is expected at senior levels.*  Can chefs financially afford to support more than one association.
4.Is this the final curtain for chefs’ associations as they currently operate. ALL ABOUT: REMODELING NETWORKS.

(Stimuli propositions) Its estimated it took the world about 25 years for the economy to fully recover from the Great Depression. It required 4 years to recover and return after the GFC. The current global effect of COVID-19 is estimated to be almost as bad as the great depression, and at least double the GFC. *  Does this experience suggest, any resemblance of recovery in professional association activity is somewhere between 4 – and 25 years. *  Over the past three decades, many associations that focus on unique interests have emerged.  *  Competition from social media has had a huge influence as alternative networking. *  Will culinary competitions, sponsorship, and face to face professional networking be different on the other side?  *  Can virtual competitions become the next level of cookery skills challenges? *  Will virtual connections replace physical meetings, or is this already been happening on platforms like Facebook?  *  Will future social meetings of chefs be mainly virtually driven. The old culinary school is ageing, and the new generation of chef is, and will be young. The young chef is highly virtually prepared, while many old school chefs are somewhat reticent to get involved in the new electronic world. It appears there is a growing gap between the two. What strategies do you have to cater for the new generation younger chef? Will associations take this opportunity to “futures search” and a “swot” analysis.
5. How could the pandemic reshape the operation of food-service ? What may we expect in the new normal industry; from a restaurant operator and a F&B manager’s perspective.? ALL ABOUT: NEW-NORMAL FOOD-SERVICE.
(Stimuli propositions) Will takeaway replace family dining, as did family dining replaced fine dining, and as did fine dining replace a la carte. *  Does this mean fine dining restaurants will need duel methods of production and service, and had this had already started with more and more home delivery? * Will fine dining clients become even more comfortable with home delivery services * Will restaurants install drive through *  Will restaurants need to restrict bookings based on greater space that allows conditional physical distancing. *  Is this the end of self-service buffet style food service? *  Will restaurants only accept reservations to be able to control numbers. *   How will F.O.H roles and teams be affected  *  Will ghost kitchens take the place of fine dining to supply either fully ready prepared meals, delivered to the house for clients in the comfort of their own home. * will “food kits” with the mise-en- place completed and only finishing necessary, be the next popular dining concept. * What food safety measures become even more important  * Will restaurants need to supply hand sanitation * Will clients be willing to meet increased cost of food safety measures * How will a guest emotionally feel being served by a masked waiter. * Will the other side encourage cashless payments, digital, or single use menus and disposable cutlery? * Will kitchen visits be prohibited * What are the dangers in the open kitchen concept? * Will we see  screens at the race to protect staff . MORE IMPORTANTLY- What are the opportunities that the crisis presents.
6. How could the pandemic reshape the delivery of culinary education and other services? What may we expect in the new normal ? ALL ABOUT: TECHNICAL TRAINING.
(Stimuli propositions) From a University – TAFE – Private Provider and Secondary Teachers perspectives.  Does the lock-down teach the education sector and industry that virtual learning can be as highly effective, if not better than attending school? *  Does this crisis suggest virtual culinary training is cost effective and flexible, and if so, will this require culinary teachers to learn a new set of teaching skills and methodology. * What extra classroom support will technical training teachers need * Will RPL and workplace training and assessment become different. How may the technical training of cooks and chef’s philosophy change? Will the way consultations processes and curriculum development change? Could industry consultations be additionally  virtually driven  on conferencing platforms? Will the IRC broadcast their meetings for transparency? What curriculum changes will or should be examined post Covid-19 to respond to impacts of the crisis? * One challenge maybe,  is returning students  who may dramatic increase use of public transport usage, and the risks associated with this usage or personal transport and challenges with for example parking. – * How may institutes maintain access to  facilitates and the opportunities for leaning to all  student groups given concerns around using public transport * How can teachers reflect on the experience of a fast changed delivery mode during Covid-19  lock-down of students and lecturers,  and what will this mean into future delivery and assessment approaches. * Has  this new (enforced) approach encouraged opportunities for creative resource development? What do you think will be the long term impact for your sector, for you, your students and their careers
This concludes “The Cutting Edge” virtual meetings. We thank over sixty participants and the many viewers of videos, and hope we have been a service that gave you an insight into other professional operators perceptions. Thank You for your participation and contribution.
Email George


1. Will the Australian Commercial kitchen culture change?-  Wednesday 6th May 2.00 – 3.00 PM
• Andrew Wisken, AITC Registered Professional Chef – ACFV President
• Shane Greenman, AITC Registered Professional Chef – AND Commercial Chef & Chef Patisserie
• Martin Probst, AITC Registered Professional Chef – CEO Management consultant – Profound Leadership
• Richard Robinson – UQ Research Development Fellow – Tourism Discipline – The University of Queensland
2. What support and / or online resources will help cooks and chefs through this crisis? – Wednesday 13th May 3.00 – 4.00 PM
• Mark Normoyle, AITC Registered Professional Chef – Chef Consultant
• Shane Greenman, AITC Registered Professional Chef – AND Commercial Chef & Chef Patisserie
• Rhonda Andrews, Managing Director, Barrington Centre, Specialist psychological organisation, expert in critical incident management.
• Alan Orreal has 34 years of global culinary experience, Alan is, “Director of Culinary operations” at the Shanghai Disney Resort in China, who leads a culinary staff of 1,000, producing approximately 11 million meals per year.
 3. Will membership of a professional association be a career asset for Australian chefs post Covid-19. And given the plethora of associations (currently in excess of nine legally constituted organisations and many more informal networks) should this crisis encourage the formation of one association? ALL ABOUT: CEMENTING RELATIONSHIPS. 
Wednesday 27th May 3.00 – 4.00 PM
• Mark Normoyle, AITC Registered Professional Chef, ACF Member, Les Toques Member – Chef Consultant.
• Mark Weatherley, AITC Registered Professional Chef, Technical Innovation/ Major Key Account Manager, Corona Manufacturing Pty Ltd, 30 Years  Industry Experience
Marcus Moore – Director of F&B and Culinary Operations NagaWorld, Casino Cambodia. currently manages a brigade of 900 staff and 24 restaurants 
• Paul Rifkin Consultant Chef, 40 years kitchen experience, 30 years as a high profile Executive Chef
4.Is this the final curtain for chefs’ associations as they currently operate. Wednesday 3rd June 6.00 – 7.00 PM
• Karen Doyle, National President Australian Culinary Federation, Program Manager at Le Cordon Bleu Australia-Sydney.
• Nick Blackmore, President Les Toques Blanches, Education Manager – Hospitality, Cookery & Bakery Holmesglen Institute, 
• Daman Shrivastav, President Australian Institute of TechnicalChefs, Vice Conceille de Gastronomique at La Chaine des Rotisseurs, Culinary Arts Trainer and Educator.
• Andrew Wisken, President Australian Culinary Federation Victoria, AITC Registered Professional Chef 
5. How could the pandemic reshape the operation of food-service operations? what may we expect in the new normal industry. (From a restaurant operator and an F&B manager’s perspective)? Tuesday 9th June 2.00 – 3.00 PM
• Steven Mercer, Owner Chef, Mercer’s Restaurant Eltham, Member Les Toques Blanches, State Representative Director- Restaurant & Caterers Association.
• Scott Picket, Multiple award winning chef and restaurateur,  Owner operator multiple restaurants, Author, Member Les Toques Blanches, Bocuse d’or representative, 
• Daniel Hiltbrunner, Chef Restaurateur at D&K Kitchen@Lark Hill Winery & Director of D&K Kitchen Hospitality Consultancy AITC Registered and LTB Member
• Richard Maisano, Executive Chef/owner, Masani Italian Dining & terrace, Member Les Toques Blanches 
6. How could the pandemic reshape the delivery of culinary education and other services? Wednesday 17th June 2.00 – 3.00 PM
• Robert Ford, AITC Registered Professional Chef, Culinary Curriculum Specialist, 45 Years experienced, Lecturer: Victoria University
• Sarah Maric, AITC Registered Professional Chef, – Vet Hospitality Teacher at Copperfield College, over 30 years experience including executive chef levels.
• Ry Cunningham, R/Head Teacher at TAFE. NSW – Chef, – Technical and Further Education
• Stephen Lunn, ACF President Tasmania, Tourism And Hospitality Industry Reference Committee, Owner: “Chefaholic Cooking School & Catering”