Sodexo has revealed the eight successful chefs who will battle it out at the Sodexo Chef of the Year 2015 grand finale.

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Sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions, Churchill and Leathams, the Sodexo Chef of the Year final will take place at The Hospitality Show 2015 at the NEC Birmingham. It will be held in the Live Theatre at 2:30-4pm on Tuesday 20 January, day two of the show.

With a strong emphasis on seasonal, sustainable produce, competitors will have to produce an exciting three-course menu to include a sea bass starter, British or Irish Lamb as a main course and an innovative dessert using Bramley apples.

Expert judges will scrutinise the dishes before announcing the winners, who will take part in a unique study trip also focusing on British artisan producers. This will include a hands on training activity at River Cottage, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s award-winning cookery school.

The eight finalists represent all the segments of Sodexo and demonstrate the diverse range of industries in which the company operates:

  • Darren Poulton, Corporate Services, banking client

  • Tom Beauchamp, Prestige Scotland, South Queensferry

  • Neil Yule, Corporate Services International Large Accounts, pharmaceutical client

  • Andy Clarkson, Defence, Aliwal Barracks

  • Lea Eastman-Thompson, Education, Licenced Victuallers School

  • Jonathan Preece, Healthcare, Leeds Nuffield

  • Dennis McCarroll, Corporate Services Ireland, Almac,

  • Danilo Barbagallo, Prestige, Bateaux London

In preparation for the event, finalists took part in a Sodexo Chef of the Year mentor day, where they could get advice and encouragement from top chefs Russell Bateman – National Chef of the Year 2014 winner – and Alyn Williams – of Alyn Williams of Westbury.

David Mulcahy, craft and development director at Sodexo, said, “We’re tremendously excited to see these chefs’ hard work and determination culminate in January’s final. Each of these chefs demonstrates the talent and dedication we have in Sodexo and we hope they will pull on their own imagination and flair to plate up three astounding dishes. We wish all finalists the best of luck.”

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