Steve Golding, executive chef, Sodexo Prestige, has won the Event Catering Award category at this year’s Food Service Management (FSM) magazine Awards.

Steve Golding

The awards, held at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London, saw 400 members of the food service management community gather to celebrate those leading the way in the industry. Steve, who works for Sodexo Prestige, at Ascot Racecourse, was singled out in the Event Catering Award category for his innovative approach – working tirelessly to give Royal Ascot customers a fresh and unique dining experience.

Steve, who has worked at the world-renowned racecourse for over 14 years, has enjoyed being executive chef since 2002, managing all catering aspects of Royal Ascot, including the Silver Ring, the Grandstand Enclosure, the Royal Enclosure – a temporary village specifically erected for the event with seven Club marquees – and the 15 restaurants across the site. During the five days of Royal Ascot, over 40 different kitchens serve approximately 54,000 meals to race goers and create 100 different variations of dishes each day.

Steve’s passionate management style has made him hugely popular and respected by the chefs under his guidance and, despite the large numbers of temporary staff that are employed at Ascot, they are seen to return each year, allowing Steve to maintain continuity and drive repeat bookings.

Steve has also been pivotal in integrating Sodexo’s sustainability strategy to 2020 – Better Tomorrow Plan - into Royal Ascot, ensuring local, ethically sourced produce is at the heart of all of his menus and he has successfully introduced four waste streams (food, mixed recycling, glass and non-recycling) to the site, which have helped to reduce waste rates by 11%. To add to this, he has also ensured that all cleaning agents used are 100% biodegradable and has brought in a number of smaller initiatives, such as using EcoCubes in fridges, which help to save energy.

On receiving the award Steve said: “I have a passion for food and particularly for delivering good food, using excellent ingredients, to people who enjoy eating it. To be recognised by the industry for doing something that I love is a dream come true.“

Chris John, managing director, Sodexo Prestige, congratulated Steve, adding: “Steve is a worthy winner of this award. He is fantastic to work with and always makes time for the staff. He is focused not only on delivering a five star service, but also on identifying and encouraging talent, having recently set up a very successful apprentice scheme for Royal Ascot. Steve is full of vigour and humour and it is testimony to his character that 2012 Royal Ascot has been widely deemed as the best ever.”

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