The National Indigenous Culinary Institute (NICI) is an industry inspired and initiated program of national significance to create highly skilled Indigenous chefs.

NICI offers elite training and experience for aspiring Indigenous chefs who will be trained and mentored by Australia’s top chefs at host restaurants from Rockpool Bar and Grill, Bistro Guillaume, Catalina, Aria, The European, Movida, The Dolphin Hotel, Icebergs Dining Room and Bar and more in Sydney and Melbourne.

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.  Our trainee 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 trainees.




NICI is lead by General Manager, Michael Ingrey. Michael is from the La Perouse Aboriginal Community situated on the northern arm of Botany Bay in Sydney and belongs to the Dharawal people of the Sydney and Illawarra regions and Dunghutti people of the Macleay Valley on the mid north coast of NSW.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Business Administrations from the University of Technology Sydney’s Business School and has over 12 years of experience in developing and delivering culturally appropriate programs, with a focus on leadership and governance.

As of December 2018, NICI has engaged with over 130 Indigenous people within the pre apprenticeship training,  over 70 commenced employment within our partner restaurants, currently supports 13 Indigenous trainees. NICI have produced 13 highly qualified Indigenous chefs in Sydney and Melbourne since 2012.





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