Sodexo Live Ireland Salon and Innovation Day 2018

September 20, 2018

The 2018 Sodexo Live Ireland Salon and Innovation Day was once again held in the glorious surroundings of Cliff at Lyons in Kildare on Thursday 13 September 2018

Sodexo Live Ireland Salon and Innovation Day 2018

‘Flexatarianism’, experiential dining, fermentation and the relationship between gut bacteria and mental health were some of the thought-provoking topics on the menu for the company staff.

Julianne Forrestal, executive development chef, said, “Sodexo Live celebrates the culinary skill of our people and showcases the latest innovations in food trends and FM, with thought leadership workshops, a supplier retail village and a host of street food concepts and ideas to savour. It’s a vital element of our people and craft development programme.”

Ciran Madanes, insight manager, Sodexo UK and Ireland spoke about the rise in ‘flexatarianism’ - people eating plant-based proteins, and experiential dining, where people were actively seeking dining experiences with others.  The second speaker, Ailbhe Walsh, who has a Masters in Nutrition, is fermentation specialist with the Fumbally Café in Dublin and generated considerable interest with her talk on creating and nurturing all things fermented and the link between gut bacteria and mental health.  In the afternoon, David Mulcahy, food innovation director, Sodexo UK and Ireland, presided over an audience with Ciran, Ailbhe, Nathan Dimond, head chef, Cliff at Lyons, Tom Doorley, restaurant critic for the Irish Daily Mail and the top-rated TV show, ‘The Restaurant’ and Dee Laffan, the newly appointed editor for Food & Wine magazine, Ireland’s most popular monthly food bible.

The 2018 Chef of the Year Ireland competition took place the day before, Wed 12 Sept, at the Unilever kitchens nearby.   The results were announced at the Salon and Nicholas Reid, executive head chef at Almac, Craigavon, retained his Chef of the Year Ireland title with a Silver and Best in Class for his chargrilled Winter vegetable salad with black truffle custard and bulgar wheat, followed by Himalayan salt aged rack of lamb with smoked kohlrabi and a dessert of blood orange chocolate tart, blood orange sorbet and brûléed blood oranges.

Dennis McCarroll at the Ulster Independent Clinic in Belfast was runner up, also with silver and Sharon McConnell from Government Services in NI also took home silver in her first time to enter the competition. Bronze medals went to Raphael Delage (Munster relief team), Adam Stewart, Allstate, Belfast; Bartek Piatek, Irish Water, Dublin; Louis Mallon, Almac, Craigavon, and Tony Hegarty, Ervia, Cork.

In the Cold Display classes, chef Stephen Chambers from NI Government Services added to his already prestigious medal haul over the years by taking home gold medals in the Traybake and Gluten Free classes plus silvers in the Decorative Novelty Cake and Cupcakes classes.  Agnieska Symdra from Merck Millipore in Cork, and Daniele Holmes from Ulster Independent Clinic in Belfast in Cork won gold in the Filled Sponge/Gateau, with Agnieska also scooping Best in Class.  Sharon McConnell from NI Government Services also took home a gold and Best in Class in the Decorative Novelty Cake for her ‘Beauty and the Beast’ creation.  Nicola Mitten of Government Services in NI won gold and Best in Class in the Cupcakes class.

The six full-time front- line employees who successfully completed the two-year Graduate Hospitality Programme at Dublin Institute of Technology in partnership with Sodexo Ireland were also recognised. They were Jorge Diaz, supervisor, AllState in Belfast, Anne Kelly, food services assistant at Bord Gais, Dublin; Keith Daly, senior sous chef, State Street, Dublin; Barbara Placuk, hospitality manager at Davy Stockbrokers, Dublin; Marta Sypneiwska, commis chef, Central Bank, Dublin and Aisha Keshinro, food services assistant at Central Bank, Dublin. Seven more employees will graduate in Summer 2019.

Sodexo Ireland is a leading provider of food and facilities management services to clients in business and industry, education, financial services and healthcare. It employs approximately 3,700 people in 230 locations across Ireland and spent over €19 million on Irish food in 2017.

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