Keith Piggott

Creating a ‘zen’ like environment in the kitchen

Keith Piggott
About the author : Keith Piggott, Craft Development Chef
Published on : 3/22/23
  • Keith's career started when he completed a degree in Human Relations, but his love of food started at an early age. Now he has landed his dream role as a Craft Development Chef - blending his passion for cooking with the joy of developing people.

    Love of food was in the family for Keith, as his mum was a chef and he remembers his first job was in Sodexo, helping his mum as a kitchen assistant. ‘I’ve had an appreciation of food from an early age’ says Keith, but I was drawn to event management and spent the first fifteen years of my career working on some Ireland’s largest music and comedy events.’  Keith Piggott

    Ever curious, Keith trained as a Chef in 2009 and following a Masters in Culinary Arts went on to work as Head Chef in a number of boutique hotels and restaurants in Ireland, before joining Sodexo in 2021. Embarking on the culinary world, it wasn’t long before Keith had built up a network of chefs and suppliers and Keith can often be found on a day off visiting or working in farms to talk about local produce and what’s happening in the industry.  

    Taking inspiration from a number of Irish chefs, Keith’s culinary ethos is that of ‘simplicity’, using Irish seasonal produce, cooking it simply and presenting it beautifully. 

    Working in Sodexo has made a positive impression on Keith, and the feeling is mutual. He has brought creativity, experience and a genuine love for locally sourced ingredients to his team, leading a busy kitchen and calendar of hospitality functions. He has been successful in internal competitions, as one of  Ireland’s representatives in the Sodexo ‘Chef of the Year’ competition with dishes that included Buckwheat Risotto, Dillisk & IPA Battered Cod, Nori & Dill Polenta Chips & a Miso Chocolate Mousse.

    I made a choice to move in workplace catering for improved quality of life. I’ve brought lots of the skills, both from working in event management and fine dining, with me. I’m working hours that suit me and still have the opportunity to cook the kind of food that I love. 

    Keith says that being part of the culinary team of Sodexo chefs has pushed him on professionally too. He made a decision when joining Sodexo that it would be a new career path for him, one where he would pursue every opportunity that came his way.

    At the heart of work for Keith are people and he firmly believes that it’s as important to have a nice time and enjoy work - as it is to have a day off. 

    As a Head Chef, Keith’s approach is always to create an environment where people want to come to work and do the best job they can.

    ‘There’s no doubt that being a Chef can be physically demanding, but I believe that being organised and ahead of yourself creates a calmer, more ‘zen’ life environment in the kitchen, and for those around you.  

    Now, as Craft Development Chef for Sodexo’s southern region in Ireland, Keith’s role is all about leading people and developing the on-site food offer, a role that he is relishing in.    

    When asked about advice for new starters in the industry, Keith says there is no substitute for hard work, but his advice is not to be in a rush in your career. Keith spent a number of years perfecting his craft and learning management skills from those around him before taking on a Head Chef position.

    To be a good leader in the culinary industry, it is as important to have great people management skills, as it is to understand food

    The fact that I now get to develop people as well as continue to work with food is amazing. It brings all the things I love to do together which is massive for me.

    If you are interested in a career journey with Sodexo, visit the Sodexo Jobs website.

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