It was another successful year for chefs and non-chefs alike at this year’s Sodexo Salon Culinaire, which saw over 650 employees take part.

The event, which took place at one of Sodexo’s most prestigious contracts, Ascot Racecourse, saw bothprofessional and amateur chefs of all abilities and from across the business, take part in live and static competitions and enjoy a range of master classes and live demonstrations.

A supplier exhibition, open to visitors and competitors, also featured, while demonstrations took place from top industry names including much loved chef Paul Rankin, Michelin-starred Alyn Williams and pastry chef extraordinaire Will Torrent, who were there to help competing chefs and visitors develop their knowledge and learn tricks of the trade.

The Sodexo Young Chef of the Year final also took place, open to all of Sodexo’s chefs under the age of 24.

First place was awarded to Richard Bullard who works as a chef at Royal Marines Base Chivenor in Devon, while the Judges Award for Innovation went to Marie Conn, a chef at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) in Lympstone, for her exquisite sugar floral display.

Andrea Suttill, a chef who also works at CTCRM in Lympstone, took the top spot, winning the Overall Best in Show Award for the level of skill, innovation and quality of work she displayed in the Innovative Street Food Challenge.

This year’s Salon Culinaire also saw the second final of the Barista Challenge with 10 applicants battling it out to see who would be crowned the National Barista of the Year. The winner, Maggie Lach who works at

Aviva’s head office in Dublin as head Barista, said the secret to a good coffee making is “to love coffee.”

This year Sodexo also held a Salon Culinaire in Scotland which had over 120 entries and one in Ireland which saw almost 200 employees take part.

David Mulcahy, craft and food development director, Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: “Competing is a great way to develop a chef’s skill set and I hope everyone who took part gained valuable experience, which will progress them in their career. The level of culinary skill gets better with each passing year and I was delighted to see so many people taking part, both our professional chefs and those who were “having a go” for the day. Congratulations to everyone who took part.”

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