Sodexo senior sous chef Andy Voice has been named Sodexo Chef of the Year in a live cook off at the Foodservice Show.

On 22 January, senior sous chef Andy for the company’s Independents by Sodexo division at Dorney Lake, Eton, made waves at the NEC Birmingham live stage with his gold ‘best in class’ menu.

Andy impressed the select panel of judges with his menu of savoury carrot cake to start, loin and neck of lamb with celeriac and crosnes as the main course followed by a blood orange soufflé for dessert.

The competition judges included current National Chef of the Year Kuba Winkowski, Michelin starred Adam Smith, Leathams executive development chef Perry Huntley, TV star Brian Turner OBE and the Craft Guild of Chefs chairman Andrew Bennett MBE.

Andy has previously won gold, ‘best in class’ and ‘best in show’ at competitions including La Parade des Chefs at last year’s Hotelympia and Sodexo’s own salon culinaire competition.

David Humphreys, development technologist for Tillery Valley Foods, was awarded runner up by the judges with an additional gold award.

The two gold award winners were among eight chefs from across Sodexo UK & Ireland taking part in the contest. In the lead up to the final, the finalists competed in individual heats as well as participating in workshops and a mentor day hosted by Sodexo client and event sponsor Unilever.

Andy was presented with a winner’s plate from Churchill China and will participate in a gastronomic UK study trip including farm visits and a culinary experience featuring the best of British fine dining experiences courtesy of long-term sponsor of the competition, Leathams.

All eight finalists received a personalised chef jacket and a year’s subscription to the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Andy Voice, senior sous chef for Sodexo Schools & Universities, and Sodexo Chef of the Year 2019 winner, said: “Sodexo and the guys I work with have put a lot of effort into supporting and mentoring me. They have been there from the beginning when the ideas were on paper, the first dishes, adding things, changing how things look on the plate - their feedback is what’s most important to me because I know they will be honest.

“I have worked with Sodexo for nearly nine years and started working at Dorney Lake two years ago. I like working for Sodexo - they do invest in their employees. I am lucky to work with people that give me encouragement and these opportunities. As a chef, I always feel like I can improve, even if I prepare a perfect dish, I look at it and think how I could change it - we’re always looking for perfection.”

David Mulcahy, food development and innovation director, Sodexo UK & Ireland commented: “A massive congratulations to Andy on winning and of course well done to all the finalists who competed. Andy is a dedicated chef and has worked extremely hard to triumph this year. They all presented excellent menus to the judges and the outcome is a testament to their determination, training and the supportive Sodexo teams around them.

“As a leading employer, it is important for Sodexo to encourage the participation in events like Chef of the Year and to continuiously inspire, recognise and develop our chefs and culinary teams. We are committed to attracting, developing and nurturing talent chefs and front of house teams.”

Jerry Frost, account manager from event sponsors Churchill China, said: “Churchill China is delighted to be sponsor the Sodexo Chef of the Year once more. A competition superbly organised by David Mulcahy and his team.

“The buzz around the individual workstations is always exciting and hats off to all of the chefs for coping with this added pressure in front of a busy and sometimes noisy crowd. Congratulations to Andy who produced a fantastic set of dishes using British manufactured crockery from the Churchill range - Raku Topaz Blue for starter, Stonecast Barley White for main and Raku Quartz Black for dessert.”


Sodexo Chef of the Year 2019 finalists

  • Andy Voice - Dorney Lake, Independents by Sodexo, Sodexo Schools & Universities - gold ‘best in class’
  • David Humphreys - Tillery Valley Foods, Sodexo Healthcare - gold
  • Dennis McCarroll - Ulster Independent Clinic, Ireland, Sodexo Corporate Services - silver
  • Darren Kelly - Rotherham FC, Centerplate, Sodexo Sports & Leisure - bronze
  • Andy Clarkson - Aliwal Barrack JRDC, Sodexo Defence & Government Services - bronze
  • Orsolya Kemendy - University College London, Sodexo Universities - bronze
  • Sergejs Sobolevs - Sodexo head office, London, Sodexo Corporate Services - bronze
  • Angus Pauline - Viewforth House, Scotland, Sodexo Sports & Leisure - bronze


Sodexo Chef of the Year 2019 judges

  • Steve Scuffell - chair of judges for Foodservice Show salon culinaire
  • Perry Huntley - starter
  • Andrew Bennett MBE - starter
  • Adam Smith - main course
  • Kuba Winkowski - main course
  • Brian Turner OBE - main course
  • Julie Walsh - dessert
  • Ross Sneddon - dessert
  • Keith Burton - technical


Sodexo Chef of the Year 2019 sponsors

  • Churchill China
  • Unilever Food Solutions
  • Leathams
  • The Craft Guild of Chefs
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