The Hot Scots Power 40: Trevor Garden, Sodexo

21 February 2013
The Hot Scots Power 40: Trevor Garden, Sodexo

Ranking: 20

Trevor Garden is executive chef for Sodexo Prestige in Scotland, the sports and leisure division of Sodexo, which sees him responsible for the catering for more than 500,000 people every year.

On a day-to-day basis, Garden is responsible for running a busy production kitchen supplying food to some of Scotland's most esteemed and historic venues, including Blair and Dundas Castles and National Museums of Scotland, as well as for bespoke events such as Leuchars Air Show and the Museum of Flight.

Recent contract wins at Sodexo Prestige include a £500,000 a year deal at Edinburgh Corn Exchange and a six-figure deal at the city's Freemason's Hall.

The award-winning chef has played a significant part in food development for Prestige's catering business and is currently in the process of developing menus for the upcoming Open Championship at Muirfield later this year.

Sodexo Prestige in Scotland has reported dramatic growth in its conference and banqueting business, with sales running £1m ahead of last year. Sales for the year to the end of August 2012 were 45% up in the event catering business.

Parent company Sodexo in the UK and Ireland employs around 35,000 people at more than 2,300 locations in the corporate, healthcare, education, leisure, justice and defence sectors. It has an annual turnover of more than £1b and delivers a range of services from catering, cleaning, reception to security, laboratory and grounds maintenance services.

Trevor Garden - Career guide
With 20 years of industry experience and academic study under his toque, Trevor Garden has an impressive CV.

His professional chef career kicked off with him gaining experience in a number of Glasgow restaurants, later spending seven years catering at Rangers Football Club, where he worked his way up the ranks and become sous chef in 2007.

A move to Houston House Hotel in Broxburn followed. Here, he honed his culinary skills before moving back to Glasgow where he took jobs at several fine-dining establishments.

A significant turning point in Garden's career came in 2001 when he took a position with an Edinburgh-based catering firm. This was his first experience in contract catering.

In 2006, Garden stepped into his current role with Sodexo Prestige where he has picked up a number of accolades, including Catering in Scotland's (CIS) contract catering chef of the year in 2011 and scooping the national title among Sodexo Prestige's chefs in 2010.

Trevor Garden - What we think

Garden has proved himself to be a versatile chef, showcasing the best of Scotland's produce and culinary talent at world-class venues and sporting events.

He acted as a senior chef for the athletes at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, Canada, where catering was provided by Sodexo. But one of his biggest achievements to date has been establishing the commercial success of the R&A Complex at the world-class Open golf championship. Sodexo won the contract in 2008 and Garden oversaw the complex at Turnberry in 2009 and the Old Course at St Andrews in 2010.

This daunting project involved catering for club members, stewards, players, caddies, Visit Scotland and media as well as cooking for the Trophy Room where diners include celebrities and senior figures in the R&A, golf's governing body.

On top of that, Trevor and his team masterminded the Links Restaurant, providing an Á la carte menu handling 350- 450 covers per day - as well as 20,000 covers across all facilities over the course of the championship - to high standards.

Undaunted by the pressure, Garden is looking to create another success story on home soil when the cream of the world's top golfing talent battle it out for the Claret Jug, at Muirfield, East Lothian, this year.

But Garden's attention never strays from the most important part of the job - ingredients. He believes that fresh and seasonal produce is the key to making any dish go further, so handpicked, wild produce feature highly on his menus, giving his clients a taste of the environment. He often goes foraging for interesting locally sourced ingredients to present his signature style which steers away from clichés to deliver 'Scotland, but with a twist'.

Wins contract at Edinburgh Corn Exchange >>

Wins contract at Edinburgh's Freemason's Hall >>

Expands events catering in the regions >>

Record sales of £1m ahead of last year >>

Sodexo Prestige website >>

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