A pastry chef from Sodexo has won the Mövenpick Gourmet Dessert Chef of the Year at a tense final in London on Wednesday (8 June).

Alice Peel saw off competition from three other finalists wowing judges with her Strawberry, Lime & Champagne Sundae.

Led by head judge and compere Will Torrent, all recipes were analysed by mixologist Lee Hyde, The Caterer products and suppliers editor Lisa Jenkins and last year’s Gourmet Dessert Chef winner and chef at the London Marriott Country Hall Hotel Biju Joshwa.

For her first prize, Alice will showcase the winning recipe at Taste of London this summer, as well as receive VIP tickets to the festival, spending money and a two-night stay at a 4* London hotel.

Alice is based at the Independents by Sodexo contract with Caterham School, Surrey, where she’s the pastry chef responsible for 1,400 lunchtime covers every day.

Alice Peel, Sodexo pastry chef at Caterham School, said: “I’m honoured to have been crowned the winner of Mövenpick Ice Cream’s Gourmet Dessert Chef of the Year competition. I worked hard to make sure the taste of Mövenpick was a real focus and thought about my presentation in-depth. I’ve always loved strawberry and lime as a dessert pairing and, combined with a little fizz, thought it’d give my sundae a lovely summery taste.”

Will Torrent, head judge, said: “We were really impressed by the enthusiasm and attention to detail shown by all four of this year’s finalists. For us, Alice’s Strawberry, Lime & Champagne Sundae was the clear winner, thanks to its beautifully balanced flavours and superb presentation. Alice successfully made the Mövenpick Double Cream & Meringue Ice Cream the sundae’s hero, complemented by the fruity bite of the strawberries, lime and fresh Champagne. It was a truly stunning summer sundae.”

Ryan Wilson, Sodexo executive chef at Caterham School, said: “Since telling Alice about the competition, she has worked hard on getting every element right and as a result is a worthy winner. I’m very pleased both Alice and Independents by Sodexo have been showcased in this great competition. It gives Alice a great stepping stone in her future with Sodexo.”

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