Quartet of Medals for Sodexo at Catex 17

March 22, 2017

Sodexo took home a quartet medals from Catex 17, Ireland’s premier foodservice and hospitality event, which took place from 21-23 February at the RDS in Dublin. In the Chef Ireland Culinary competitions, Sodexo’s team of three chefs and two front of house personnel won silver and second place in the Contract Caterers Challenge while three chefs from Northern Ireland each won a bronze in the individual competitions.

Quartet of Medals for Sodexo at Catex 17

Each team in the Contract Caterers Challenge had two hours to prepare six covers of a three-course meal for selected guests and an independent judging panel. The Sodexo team were Michelle Daly, chef manager, Bord Bia, Dublin; Dennis McCarroll, chef, Ulster Independent Clinic, Belfast; Dan Cruickshank, head chef, St. Andrews College, Dublin; Ali Tan, business manager, Woodlands Academy, Wicklow and Iven Thoppilan, café supervisor at the GPO Witness History Museum, Dublin.

Dan’s starter was a pan-seared duck, duck ballotine, onion and chilli bhaji with mango puree; Michelle’s main course was a canon of lam with almond crust, braised lamb shoulder, celeriac and apple with a tarragon and mint oil. The white chocolate bomb with rhubarb, ginger biscuit and ginger ice cream dessert prepared by Dennis was awarded the maximum 100% and the front of house team of Ali and Iven delivered a fine dining waiting experience to the guests and judges.

In the individual competitions, Adam Stewart at Allstate in Belfast and Patrick McKittrick from Government Services each won a bronze medal in the Duck class while Nicholas Reid at Almac won bronze in the Seafood class.  Adam’s dish was roast duck with baby roast potato, carrot puree, pickled cabbage and port reduction. Patrick’s dish was roast fillet of Silver Hill duck, duck scotch egg, parsnip puree, buttered savoy and sweet onion, golden raisin and madeira jus and Nicholas’ dish was cod cheeks with risotto Nero, fennel, orange and breaded langoustine.

Julianne Forrestal, executive chef, Sodexo Ireland said, “Winning silver was a fantastic achievement as it was the first time for four of them to compete at this level. Our three individual chefs, who were also first-time competitors, faced tough opposition, with almost 70 entries in the seafood class alone. They came through with flying colours and we are tremendously proud of everyone’s achievements.”

Margot Slattery, country president, Sodexo Ireland, said “There is always the temptation to go with more experienced competition chefs at events like this but then how do you develop, grow and nurture your staff talent? It was a super result that was the product of the tremendous support, advice, ideas and mentoring skills of executive chef Julianne Forrestal, development chef Cathy Adamson and Michael Egan, head chef at VHI and member of the Panel of Chefs. All credit to them for our achievements on the day.”

Sodexo Ireland delivers services that improve the quality of life to clients in business and industry, education, financial services and healthcare. It employs 2,300 staff in 200 locations across Ireland, serves 90,000 people daily and spends over €19 million annually on Irish food.

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