Sodexo sponsors Litfest for fourth year

May 09, 2016

Sodexo Ireland is once again proud to be a sponsor of the Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine.

Julianne Forrestal, executive craft chef, Sodexo Ireland (centre) with Litfest co-founders Rory O’Connell and Darina Allen at the recent Dublin launch.

David Fountain, head chef at PayPal Dundalk, won a bronze medal at the Sodexo UK and Ireland Chef of the Year Final at Hotelympia, the UK’s biggest foodservice event, in London recently.  In his first time to represent Ireland at the Finals, David faced heated competition from other company chefs in England, Scotland and Wales. The Finals are run to the same exacting standards of the Culinary Olympics, one of the largest culinary competitions in the world.

In front of a large audience with judges that included Michelin starred chefs Raymond Blanc OBE and Ireland’s Derry Clarke looking over their shoulders, David and his commis chef Stephen Grimes from SAP Ireland had to prepare a three-course meal in 90 minutes. David’s starter was a hake fillet with peas, puree, pickled girolles, langoustines and pancetta lardons followed by a Assiette of Guinea Fowl, with a haysmoked breast, ballotine and lollipop leg, heritage vegetables, potato mousseline and port jus. His dessert was a chocolate tart with lime cream and coconut.

In recognition of his achievement, David was invited to visit and lunch as a guest of Raymond Blanc at his two Michelin starred hotel-restaurant ‘Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ in Oxfordshire, England. 

David said, “It was amazing to qualify for such a big stage competition with judges like Raymond Blanc and Derry Clarke watching your every move!  I had been at the event before but as a commis chef not as the main competitor so I had some idea about the pressure that was involved, which helped.”

Well-known Irish chef and TV personality Derry Clarke is catering consultant to Sodexo Ireland and is working on various initiatives with the company to promote excellence in food and hospitality.  He is actively involved in the mentoring of Sodexo Ireland’s culinary team.

Julianne Forrestal, executive craft chef for Sodexo Ireland, commented, “We’re delighted with David’s result and the way that he represented his country in such a professional manner. He faced very stiff competition from across the company but his dedication to his craft is clearly evident and his portfolio of wins is expanding all the time. “

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