Sodexo wins Gold and Best in Class at IFEX Salon Culinaire

March 24, 2016

Three Sodexo NI chefs have scooped a gold and Best in Class as well as two bronze medals in the Salon Culinaire at IFEX.

Sodexo wins Gold and Best in Class at IFEX Salon Culinaire

Three Sodexo NI chefs have scooped a gold and Best in Class as well as two bronze medals in the Salon Culinaire at IFEX, Northern Ireland’s largest food, drink and hospitality showcase which took place at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast from 8-10 March 2016. The IFEX Salon Culinaire is one of Ireland’s largest chef competitions with over 80 classes.

The gold medal and Best in Class was won by Darran Benham, executive head chef at The Old Bushmills Distillery, Antrim in the Salon’s most prestigious class, the Northern Ireland Year of Food Award.  This class was created to celebrate 2016 as Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink, competitors had to prepare a dish that reflects modern trends and represent the very best in exclusive local produce. His winning entry was a Bushmills 10-year whiskey-glazed Antrim venison loin, black pudding Ballinteer Farm quail scotch egg, pearl barley and mixed herb risotto, apple, baby vegetables and pickled beets and a milk chocolate scented jus.

Reggie Ralyte, hospitality chef at Almac in Craigavon, won bronze in the ‘Senior Lamb Lifestyle’ class, one of the show-stopping classes that attracted a large audience.  Her dish was a canon of Lamb, with liquorice, wild garlic, potato bread and fennel crumb, served with heritage carrots and a hay jus.

Chef Adam Stewart, at Allstate in Belfast won bronze in the ‘Northern Ireland Menu Cal Award’ class, in which competitors had to prepare a nutritionally balanced main course not to exceed 600 calories. His medal-winning dish was a Roast fillet of Cod with spiced puy lentils and a tomato and chorizo tapenade wrapped in aubergine.

The team was supported by Cathy Adamson, development chef for Sodexo NI and, as a seasoned competitor and multiple winner of Sodexo’s All-Ireland Chef of the Year competition, she provided valuable mentoring to the two bronze medal-winning chefs, Reggie Ralyte and Adam Stewart, in their first time to compete for the company

Julianne Forrestal, executive craft chef, Sodexo Ireland, commented “Congratulations to our team on their excellent performance at IFEX and to Cathy Adamson for her support and mentoring. We’re very proud and delighted with their achievements especially as 2016 is Northern Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink.

Darran joined us last November, this is his second medal-winning competition for Sodexo and a first for Reggie and Adam.  I have a feeling it won’t be their last time to compete for the company and the heat is on ahead of Sodexo’s All-Ireland Chef of the Year competition in September.”

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