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Tranche Scholarship winners

By Friday 13 October 2023October 16th, 2023No Comments

The Hill-Smith family has announced the inaugural winners of the Tranche Scholarship – Lily Lapper and Sam Bray.

Lily is restaurant manager of Merivale’s iconic venue, Mr Wong; and Sam is head chef at Manky Sally’s, Taphouse of Moo Brew, owned by MONA’s David Walsh.

The annual scholarship of $15,000 – led by Michael Hill-Smith AM MW as chairman and his daughter Mathilda as director – is awarded to emerging leaders in the Australian wine and hospitality industry.

“Lily and Sam are impressive and inspiring,” Michael says.

“Both these emerging leaders have a keen sense of how they can improve the status quo in terms of work conditions and sustainability within the restaurant sector.”

Sam Bray.

The Tranche panel was so impressed by the calibre of finalists, they decided to award two scholarships.

“Both Lily and Sam had a clear understanding of their future and the future of the hospitality industry,” Michael says.

“Both winners had a focused plan for how they would use the Tranche funds – who they wanted to visit and why, and how it would be of benefit to the industry.”

Lily Lapper leads a small army of hospitality professionals at Mr Wong.

Before relocating to Sydney, Lily was the restaurant manager at 2-hatted Laura on the Mornington Peninsula.

Lily also worked at the revered Carlton Wine Room, mentored by Travis Howe.

Her trip will focus on further developing her leadership skills, visiting businesses that have a strong reputation for prioritising their team’s wellbeing and hospitality tenure, while maintaining a profitable business.

Starting his career in Adelaide, Sam Bray worked at world-renowned Noma and some iconic kitchens before putting down roots in Tasmania.

Sam is now head chef at Manky Sally’s in Hobart which is on a path to becoming a zero-waste kitchen.

He recently undertook the WSET Level 2 as well as an applied science certificate at the University of Tasmania to build his knowledge on fermentation to upcycle byproducts from the hospitality, wine and brewing industries.

Sam plans to visit pioneering zero waste and sustainably minded restaurants and volunteer at not-for-profit ‘Food for Soul’ founded by Massimo Bottura.

More than 130 applications were received from many parts of the wine and hospitality industry, with seven finalists interviewed.

Michael Hill-Smith and Mathilda Hill-Smith.

Main photo: Lily Lapper.


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