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Creating Opportunities for Youth in Hospitality

Asia Pacific

Apprentice Chefs

Hilton Adelaide, Australia


The Apprentice Chef’s programme at Hilton Adelaide (Australia) focuses on preparing people with the necessary skills to be committed, talented and qualified kitchen staff.


Men and women from the local community, who participate in Hilton Adelaide’s four-year Apprentice Chef’s programme, are exposed to a range of culinary, business and life skills. These skills are reinforced through ongoing mentoring and job placement support. During the programme, apprentices visit suppliers to develop relationships with business partners and learn about the value of having local, sustainable ingredients on the menu. They also lead cooking demonstrations alongside Head Chef Dennis Leslie at a local farmer’s market every Sunday – where they practice their public speaking and presentation skills, while also educating others about the importance of good nutrition. In addition, each year participating youth plan a five course meal for 45 family members and friends. Apprentices are responsible for managing all aspects of the event, from designing and preparing the menu and floor plan, to budgeting food costs to coordinating the timing and workflows.

Hilton Adelaide has consistently employed 8-10 apprentices per year for more than 20 years. More than 80 percent of apprentices have continued employment in the hotel at the end of their four year term. Those still in employment at Hilton Worldwide who have built their careers in the company include Hilton Adelaide’s very own Executive Chef, Dennis Leslie, and the current Executive Chef at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

Target Population

This highly competitive programme is open to 10 ambitious individuals per year.

External Partners

Hilton Adelaide partners with the International College of Hotel Management, the Le Cordon Bleu and other technical schools in Australia to help recruit program beneficiaries.

Personal Case Study & Profile

For Chef Dennis Leslie, who began his career as a hospitality trainee at the Hilton Adelaide, having a stable workforce and creating an environment in which chefs support, motivate and learn from each other are key ingredients to a successful kitchen.

Career Stories from Hilton Leaders

Hilton Worldwide


Hilton Hotels & Resorts is excited to kick off Bright Blue Futures Youth in Hospitality Month. Throughout the month, properties from around the world will host activities that introduce youth to careers in hospitality, and we're eager to hear how your property participates.


The hospitality industry provides opportunities for youth to obtain good jobs and develop the skills and experiences they need to succeed long-term. It definitely made an impact on our company's leaders, many of whom were exposed to the opportunities our industry offers as young people. The stories they share are a true inspiration and motivator to participate in Youth in Hospitality Month.

Did you join our industry as a young person? Please tell us about your journey and the stories you help create for young people around the world!

Personal Case Study & Profile

The following Hilton Worldwide leaders were interviewed:

  • Chris Nassetta - President and CEO, Hilton Worldwide
  • Martin Rinck - Area President Operations APAC, Hilton Worldwide
  • Simon Vincent - Area President EMEA, Hilton Worldwide
  • Rudi Jagersbacher - Area President Oeprations MEA, Hilton Worldwide
  • Jim Holthouser - Executive Vice President Global Brands, Hilton Worldwide
  • Rob Palleschi - Global Brand Head, Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • Bob Brooks - Vice President, Global Culture and Strategic Initiative, Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • Gary Steffen - Vice President Brand Performance Support, Hilton Hotels & Resorts