David Hussey from Sodexo Education won the grand finale of the Sodexo Chef of the Year 2017.

Eton College executive head chef Hussey was crowned Sodexo Chef of the year at The Great Hospitality Show in NEC Birmingham after a competitive 90-minute cook off against the seven other top chefs from across Sodexo UK & Ireland’s business for the coveted accolade.

David Mulcahy, craft development director for Sodexo, presented David Hussey with his gold medal alongside the first prize, which includes a culinary trip to Norway courtesy of the Norwegian Seafood Council.

The nine-strong judging line up included Daniel Galmiche (two Michelin starred chef), Russell Bateman (Colettes, The Grove) and Derry Clarke (L’Ecrivan).

Runner up Neil Yule from Sodexo Corporate Services (also Gold) and third-placed David Humprheys from Sodexo Healthcare (silver) will join David on a UK culinary trip to Cumbria and visit world renowned two Michelin starred L’Enclume restaurant, courtesy of Leathams.

David Hussey is based at the Sodexo Education contract with Eton College, Windsor, in Berkshire, where he is responsible for a team of fifteen, eleven of those being chefs providing the hospitality for all students and fine dining for Eton College.

David and his commis chef James Bourn prepared a starter of duck breast with Brussels sprout, pomegranate, garam masala and tamarind, duck heart ‘popcorn’; a main of trout, fennel, cauliflower with lentil dhal, pickled fennel salad and finger lime; and a white chocolate, ginger and cardamom tart with caramelised white chocolate ice cream, orange compote and poppy seed tuile.

The Sodexo Chef of the Year final is sponsored by Churchill China, Unilever Food Solutions and Leathams, as well as Barry Callebaut and the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Sodexo Chef of the Year final – results

  • 1st place (Gold) David Hussey, Eton College, Schools
  • 2nd place (Gold) Neil Yule, GlaxoSmithKline, Corporate Services
  • 3rd place (Silver) David Humphreys, Tillery Valley Foods, Healthcare
  • Bronze - Andy Clarkson, Aliwal Barracks, Defence, Government Services
  • Bronze - Mathew Shipley, Ascot Racecourse, Sports & Leisure
  • Bronze - Brett Butler, University of Nottingham, Universities
  • Bronze - Glen Yorke, Police Scotland, Government Services
  • Bronze - David Fountain, PayPal Dundalk, Corporate Services Ireland

Daniel Galmiche, ambassador for the Norwegian Seafood Council and consultant for the Gore Hotel, said: “I was very impressed by the extraordinary standards from all the chefs today. The talent exhibited was the epitome of hard work and dedication. It is good to see the investment Sodexo have put into their chefs, and how much support they offer for the development of young chefs out there as well.”

David Mulcahy, craft development director for Sodexo, and the competition organiser, said: “The Sodexo Chef of the Year competition has become the most sought after accolade for chefs right across Sodexo in the UK and Ireland. This year’s final was no exception where the eight competitors took to the stage at NEC Birmingham for the final showdown. Each did themselves proud with a fantastic display of creativity and excellent skills producing three stunning dishes for judges.

“A team of highly experienced judges were on hand to dissect and evaluate the dishes coming to a final decision after a great deal of discussion.

“Congratulations to David after a tremendous effort on the day he took the title and will be rewarded with some exciting prizes including a culinary trip to Norway and a visit to L’Enclume for a gastronomic experience.

“As part of the Sodexo training academy, competition at this level is a tremendous way to motivate and develop our talented chef community and I am delighted with the support and efforts from all involved.”

Sodexo Chef of the Year judges

  • Russell Bateman, Colettes
  • Olivier Geyer, Leathams
  • Daniel Galmiche, chef consultant
  • Derry Clarke, L’Ecrivan
  • Mark Hill, The House of Commons
  • Julie Sharp, Barry Callebaut
  • Lloyd Walker, 2016 Sodexo Chef of the Year
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