Sodexo is celebrating two wins at the 2014 FSM awards, with Gemma Amor winning the event catering award and Mark Cheetham taking home the executive chef of the year honour.

The winners were announced on 11 November at a prestigious dinner held at the Lancaster Hotel, London. Over 400 people from the foodservice industry attended the awards which recognise individuals in all aspects of the industry.

For the event catering award the judges were looking for an individual unit manager operating in the events sector who not only showed excellent financial acumen but demonstrated innovation and real leadership skills.

Gemma is the head chef at Ascot Racecourse and heads a full-time team of five which swells to 70 on race days and over 300 for the Royal Ascot meeting. Gemma and her team produces over 400 different fine dining menus a year which are enjoyed by more than 500,000 customers.

Richard Barclay, director of hospitality at Ascot Racecourse, said: “Gemma never fails to deliver exceptional quality over an incredibly complex operation and very challenging client and customer base. She is constantly challenging the norm and innovating across the entire operation. Her creativity, work ethic, attention to detail and leadership of the kitchen team has enabled Ascot racecourse to become best in class for its food year after year.”

Mark Cheetham is Sodexo’s executive chef for its contract with AstraZeneca (AZ). The judges for this category were looking for food development and production chefs who are at the centre of a foodservice operation and are able to consistently demonstrate excellent food development skills, be creative and lead from the front.

Mark has been with Sodexo for over 20 years and in 2008 took on the role of executive chef for Sodexo at 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. Mark has successfully increased sales with innovative and attractive food concepts as well as helping to drive culinary excellence through his involvement in culinary competitions and forums as well as mentoring students and young chefs.

David Mulcahy, Sodexo’s food and craft development director said, “Mark’s role at AZ has led to the site being hailed as one of Sodexo’s flagship sites, where prospective clients are often taken to demonstrate best practice.

“Feeding 4,000 people each day and doing so in a creative and innovative way with passion and enthusiasm is one of Mark’s key strengths. Together with a team of 45 he operates a multi facetted operation with both classic and modern food offers being delivered expertly across the large site where he operates.”

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