Class Chefs is a student restaurant takeover initiative created by South West Connect (SWC) in 2012, and has been funded by Regional Education Industry Partnership (RIEP) since 2019. Class Chefs gives a group of up to 30 students the chance to run a restaurant for the day. They plan, cook, prepare and serve a 3 course fine dining experience (or 6 tasting plates) for up to 120 paying customers within a 3 hour session – comparable to some of the busiest restaurants in the city. Under the guidance of the restaurant staff and the SWC team, high school students aspiring a career in hospitality will get a hands-on experience in all aspects of running a restaurant, front and back of house. 

Class Chefs allows students to experience working under pressure, demonstrate strong communication, outstanding teamwork, workplace time management and problem-solving skills. These skills are often difficult to demonstrate or master in the classroom yet are crucial in the workplace. The Class Chefs format surpasses a traditional ‘watch and follow’ learning process, instead allowing students to take the lead, gain real life, commercial experience and work practices. This is a vital link to industry that students require to succeed beyond the classroom or training environment. The longevity and effectiveness of the Class Chefs initiative is a result of the contribution of all supporters of the program since 2012, thank you.

Class Chefs gave me the confidence to lead a team. It also helped me to improve my cooking skills and gave me an idea of how to work under pressure in a busy back of house role.

Anthony | Student, Youth off the Streets


By submitting this EOI SWC will include your school on a priority waitlist (pending funding) and you understand that South West Connect (SWC) cannot guarantee your participation in the program until further funding becomes available. You agree to fulfil the necessary requirements and work with SWC to make the Class Chefs event a valuable industry learning experience for your students.

Class Chefs EOI Form (v30.11).pdf