148 days ago
Last week it was revealed that Sodexo's very own Paul Hood, development chef for Heritage Portfolio, has been selected as a contestant for the new series of BBC's MasterChef The Professionals.
Cooking since his early teens, Paul began his journey to MasterChef watching his father at work as a head chef in some of the world’s most famous kitchens. Paul can't reveal many details about his time on the famous TV show, but he does say that it was the experience of a lifetime!
As a development chef for Heritage Portfolio, for the past three years Paul has conjured up some of the UK’s most memorable and exciting menus, serving up his diverse, quirky and edgy style for events such as the Scottish Food and Drink Awards and BBC industry showcases for stars and executives at Liverpool’s ACC Arena. The latter saw his food notch up the event’s highest-ever recorded satisfaction scores.
It was Paul’s wife who applied to the show in secret whilst pregnant with their now one-year old son. Paul explains, “I am so thankful to my wife for supporting my passion to cook. She used to look at me watching MasterChef and shouting at the screen when the skills challenges were on, and always said that I should go for it. In the end, she made the biggest career highlight of my life happen.
“I promise myself that nothing I do in the kitchen will ever be predictable. Behind the scenes, I work like a machine but this is my passion so it never feels hard, and I’m driven surprise and excite people at every turn.
“Seasonality matters so much to me, using ingredients when they are plentiful and at their best. Winter is a particularly interesting time, when we have less choice but that’s when a great chef can dial up the creativity and make magical food from fewer ingredients.
“Heritage Portfolio’s food values are my food values and I hope I showcased some of them on the show – you will have to wait and see.”
Mark Miller, Executive Director, Heritage Porfolio, commented on Paul's TV debut: “We are all so proud of Paul’s achievements over the years and for him to be recognised at this level is richly deserved. He brings a delicious thrill to every menu he creates for our clients, helping to make their events in some of the UK’s most iconic venues totally unforgettable.”
The BBC show returned in its new BBC One primetime slot last Tuesday (10 November) at 9:00pm As one of 32 contestants this year, Paul will be put to the test on the silver screen against the very best of the culinary industry. Celebrity chefs Monica Galetti and Marcus Wareing returned to the show's fourteenth series as judges with Gregg Wallace resuming his role as presenter.
You can catch-up on last week's episode on BBC iPlayer, and if you want to watch the rest of the series make sure to tune in to BBC One tomorrow night.
The very best of luck to Paul - we're sure he will do Sodexo and Heritage Portfolio very proud!
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