An executive chef from Sodexo has won the contract catering award at the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards.

Mark Cheetham, Sodexo executive chef at AstraZeneca, collected the award in front of 800 industry peers at the Park Lane Hilton on Monday (15 June).

Graduating with chef qualifications from Liverpool Colquitt Street College, Mark worked in hotels around the world and opened a French restaurant before joining Sodexo 20 years ago.

Since 2008 Mark has been the executive chef for Sodexo at AstraZeneca (AZ), supporting global operations and working as part of the central development team. The contract comprises of seven sites with a total UK population of over 10,000 AZ employees.

Three other Sodexo chefs – Keith Burton, Glyn Lawrence and Trevor Garden – were shortlisted for Craft Guild of Chefs awards last night.

The Special Award, sponsored by Sodexo, went to Sat Bains, the chef-proprietor of two-Michelin starred restaurant Sat Baines in Nottingham. The award was presented by Sodexo corporate affairs director Phil Hooper.

David Mulcahy, Sodexo culinary director and Craft Guild of Chefs vice president, said, “The standard of nominees for the Craft Guild of Chefs awards is always high so for four Sodexo chefs to make the shortlist is incredible and shows the breadth and level of culinary expertise across the company. Congratulations to Mark on getting the award, he’s an innovative and talented chef who inspires not just his colleagues but also his customers to work on their culinary skills.”

Mark Cheetham, Sodexo executive chef, said, “It’s really humbling to be recognised among the country’s top chefs and it was an awesome experience at the awards. Being part of Sodexo and its national craft forum has provided a great environment to share best practice over the years, and to build relationships which have been so important to consistent improvement.”

Caroline Durkin, AstraZeneca director of facilities management, said, “Mark has been the executive chef at AstraZeneca since 2008 and during that time the food offer on all our sites in the UK has continually improved. He is not only passionate about food but he has a sound business knowledge which ensures he always does what is right for our business. During the last six years we have seen patronage increase in our restaurants and coffee shops. The food offer is always refreshed and is aligned to the high street which means customer expectations are always met and in many occasions exceeded.”

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