After hosting three successful conferences in Melbourne, Grow Assembly will make its way to Sydney for a day of talks and workshops hosted by seasoned hospitality leaders. Held in May, the forum brings together a diverse line-up of culinary masterminds, mixologists, restaurant owners and communications experts to share their tips on how to break into, and get ahead in, your hospitality career.

“One of our key motivators for organising Grow is to create a space for the younger generation to ask questions and meet people who hold answers to them,” says Kylie Javier Ashton, maître d’ of Momofuku Seiobo and one of the event organisers. “When my husband [Luke Ashton, who will be speaking at the event] first opened This Must Be The Place, he had a lot of questions. We were lucky because we had connections with people in the food business who didn’t mind us picking their brains. It’s important to build a strong network of support, especially when you’re starting out.”

Ashton says the conference will focus on addressing the day-to-day challenges that small-scale businesses face and offering practical advice relatable to front-of-house operators and burgeoning restaurant owners.

Banjo Harris Plane, from Melbourne’s Bar Liberty and formerly Attica, identified a knowledge gap in the market when he co-founded Grow with his partners in 2016. “There’s a lack of hands-on mentorship in our industry,” says Plane. “There’s no formal pathways for people to get better at doing their jobs. We see the assembly as a chance to inspire and educate others.”

Other speakers include Palisa Anderson of Chat Thai, Mitch Orr and Cam Fairbairn of ACME, Harriet Leigh from Archie Rose Distilling Co. and Julia Campbell who set up Women in Hospitality.

Grow Sydney is at the Balmain Town Hall on Sunday May 6. Get tickets here.

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