Pictured l/r Michael Cafolla, chairman of the Institute of Hospitality NI branch, Marianne Hood from NATIVE by Yellow Door, the category sponsor, Cathy Adamson, craft development chef for Sodexo NI and Barra Best, co-host.

Cathy Adamson, Craft Development Chef for Sodexo in Northern Ireland, won the prestigious Contract Catering Chef of the Year Award at the 22nd Institute of Hospitality NI Awards, held at the Belfast Titanic Centre on 5 May 2017.

The event was hosted by BBC’s Barra Best and UTV’s Pamela Ballantine and recognises the most dedicated and passionate professionals working across Northern Ireland’s ever-expanding hospitality industry.

According to the category judges, ‘Cathy was a very worthy winner because of her commitment, dedication and her overall level of professionalism. She succeeded in a very tough category with exceptional competition.’

In order get to the final stage of the competition, Cathy had to present details of her career and current role to an external judging body. Cathy said, “I was delighted to have been chosen as a finalist as I knew the standard of entries was very high. So when my name was called as the winner, I was so shocked, I literally don’t remember even walking up to the stage! It’s my first time to win such a prestigious award and I’m very honoured.”

Cathy joined Sodexo in 1995 and became craft development chef in 2009 where her role is, among other things, to oversee the development of innovative and seasonal food offers, work with the company’s culinary teams on client sites to enhance their skills, techniques and monitor the quality of service delivery. She is also one of the judges for the company’s internal culinary competitions.

Cathy is a five-time winner of the Sodexo All-Ireland Chef of the Year Award and twice a finalist in the Sodexo National Chef of the Year Awards. For two consecutive years, she was a member of Sodexo UK and Ireland’s top ranked culinary team competing in the La Parade des Chefs at Hotelympia, the UK’s largest foodservice and hospitality event. She now acts as a mentor to the company’s up and coming chefs taking part in national and international competitions.

Margot Slattery, country president for Sodexo, said, “A fantastic and well-deserved win for Cathy, who is not only one of our most talented culinary stars but also a wonderfully supportive role model and mentor to our entire culinary team in Northern Ireland. “

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