Sodexo culinary talent shines at the 2013 Salon Culinaire | Sodexo prestige
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Sodexo culinary talent shines at the 2013 Salon Culinaire



Salon Culinaire is the most extensive culinary competition at Sodexo. It is where practised chefs are put to the test in front of a live audience; younger chefs get their first competition experience; and keen bakers and amateur chefs from across Sodexo can enter one of the 18 static classes, ranging from imaginative bread displays and baked cheesecakes to sugar floral displays and innovative table settings.
This year saw almost 1,000 Sodexo employees take part across the three regional competitions, which were held at Ascot Racecourse, Hampden Park in Scotland and Blackrock College in Dublin.

As well as the culinary talent on display, this year's attendees also enjoyed a variety of street food from the likes of Swanky Franks and the Levi Roots bus, and live cooking demonstrations from much-loved chef Paul Rankin, Michelin-starred Alyn Williams and pastry chef extraordinaire Will Torrent.

A number of master classes also took place, which included everything from jam and preserve making to canapé creation, afternoon tea and napkin folding.

The final of the national Barista Challenge - a competition which is only in its second year - took place at the Ascot event, with Maggie Lach, head barista at Aviva's head office in Dublin, being crowned the overall winner.

Other winners included:

Best in Show Ireland: Colm O'Flaherty, sous chef, Allianz Elm Park

Best in Show Scotland: Daelene Dewar, chef, Scotland's Rural College, Oatridge Campus
Best in Show England and Wales: Andrea Suttill, chef, Commando Training Centre Royal Marines, Lympstone
Sodexo's Young Chef of the Year: Richard Bullard, chef, Royal Marines Base, Chivenor

With almost 50 supplier exhibitors present at each event, and tastings and innovative ideas on offer every which way you looked, the event was another huge success, with lots of employees coming along to support their segments and get fresh ideas to take back to their units. 

Let's see what some of the attendees had to say on the day:

Tom Allen, executive development chef for Sodexo Education said: "This is my first Sodexo Salon Culinaire experience and I am so impressed with the level of entries across the categories; it's been a really great day. Events like this, which get you out of your comfort zone and, for our chefs, out of the kitchen, are brilliant for generating new ideas and do wonders for your imagination."

Richard Priestley, property and facilities manager, said: "I've had great fun today and have really enjoyed doing something completely different from my day job. The icing on the cake was that my first ever entry into a Sodexo Salon Culinaire was awarded bronze! I was so chuffed!"

David Mulcahy, craft and food development director, who organises the event each year, said: “The level of culinary skill gets better with each passing year and I was delighted to see so many people taking part, both our professional chefs and those who were having a go for the day. Everyone who participated should be very pleased with their performance and I thank all of the supporters we had at the competition too; it makes a real difference to those competing.”

Also present this year, for the third year running, were students from Southampton Solent University - where Sodexo provides a range of services - who put their journalistic, filming and social media skills to the test, shadowing Sodexo's PR team, interviewing participants and tweeting about the day's activities. 

Salon Culinaire this year has again demonstrated the talent and passion Sodexo has in all areas of the business and we congratulate everyone who took part.

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