32 days ago
The stunning setting of the Cliff at Lyons estate in Co. Kildare was a fitting backdrop to the successful Sodexo Ireland Innovation Exhibition, supplier showcase and Salon Culinaire on 7 September.
Organised by Julianne Forrestal, executive development chef for Sodexo Ireland, fresh thinking in food topped the menu at a packed day of innovation, insights and best practice in addition to the showcasing of our craft teams’ culinary skills at Salon Culinaire and the Chef of the Year Competition.
Highlights of the day included:
A speech by Grace Binchy – consumer and market insights specialist at Bord Bia, Ireland’s food agency – who spoke about national and international food trends.
Insights from Ciran Madanes – Sodexo’s strategic insight manager – who spoke about challenging perceptions and consumer trend predictions over the next two years. She said: “While customers are always looking for best value for money, they have shown they are prepared to splurge on selected quality items. Fuzed, the Japanese pop-up, stood out for me at the Salon as it’s a very on-trend cuisine at present.”
An engaging Q&A session led by David Mulcahy, food development and innovation director for Sodexo UK and Ireland, with guests Derry Clarke, Sodexo’s culinary ambassador; Maurice McGeehan, executive chef for Airbnb; Ruth Hegarty, head of community for Chef Network Ireland and James Devine, the UK Craft Guild of Chefs’ 2017 National Chef of the Year.
Chef of The Year
The Chef of the Year competition was won by Nicky Reid, executive chef for Sodexo at Almac Craigavon, who took home the gold medal and Best in Show title, plus a gift voucher from Unilever the competitor sponsors, for his kohlrabi linguine, pecorino emulsion and truffle pesto, followed by pan roasted hake in dulce butter, smoked cockles, celeriac pomme puree, sea aster, peas and shoots. His dessert was a caramel pink pepper pineapple with pistachios, lime and avocado ice cream.
Nicky will now represent Ireland in the Sodexo UK and Ireland Chef of the Year Grand Final at Hotelympia in London in March 2018.
Pictured left to right: Dennis McCarroll, baker, Ulster Independent Clinic, Belfast; Dan Cruickshank, head chef, St Andrews College, Dublin; Niall Byrne, head chef, Astellas, Killorglin; Adam Stewart, chef de partie, Allstate, Belfast; Mark Tindale, head chef, Almac, Craigavon; David Fountain, executive chef, PayPal, Dublin and Dundalk and Nicky Reid, executive chef, Almac, Craigavon, 2017 Chef of the Year.
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