A Sodexo Government Services chef has beaten 700 colleagues to be judged overall winner at the company's annual Salon Culinaire.
Phil Clark, who works as a second chef at Sodexo's Allenby and Connaught, Warminster Garrison contract triumped during the competition at Ascot Racecourse yesterday.
He won Best in Show for his Asian dish dumplings served with braised rice and pak choi, which was entered in the Innovative Street Food Challenge category.
Meanwhile, Sodexo Corporate Services chef Istvan Jones won the title of Apprentice Chef of the Year.
Based at Sodexo's contract with Santander in Glasgow, Jones qualified as a chef three months ago and is studying an NVQ level three.
He prepared and cooked two starters in the live cook-off at the show. His winning starters were beetroot cannelloni and Hungarian tomato tart, the latter inspired by his country of origin.
Veronica Palacios from Sodexo's Dublin General Post Office contract won the National Barista Challenge.
More than 100 suppliers exhibited at the event and there were also live chef demonstrations from Adam Handling of the Frog E1 and James Tanner of the Kentish Hare, as well as the Craft Guild of Chefs' National Young Chef of the Year, Ruth Hansom.
On Tuesday night (26 September), the annual team challenge saw seven teams of three chefs from across Sodexo prepare each part of a seven-course dinner for 120 colleagues, clients and partners in the Ascot Parade Ring Restaurant.
The Independents by Sodexo team won the culinary team challenge for their dessert course with the Sodexo Airline Lounge team winning the front of house challenge.
Sean Haley, Sodexo UK & Ireland regional chair, said: "Salon Culinaire proves Sodexo does food in abundance and everyone here has excelled. We're very lucky to have some of the best talent in the industry. Food is at our heart. We're passionate about it and our food continues to delight our customers."
David Mulcahy, Sodexo UK & Ireland food innovation director (pictured right with Sean Haley and Phil Clark), said: "Well done to Phil, Istvan, Veronica and all the competitors who took part. Salon Culinaire is an annual celebration of food excellence and craft development and shows Sodexo is a great place to build your career as a chef with plenty of training and development opportunities.
"A huge thank you goes to the suppliers, celebrity chefs, industry judges, competitors, visitors and sponsors who made this year's Salon Culinaire yet another success."
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