Sodexo Ireland celebrated its best-ever result in the Sodexo UK and Ireland Chef of the Year Grand Final at Hotelympia in London on Tuesday March 6 2018 when Nicky Reid, Sodexo Ireland’s Chef of the Year, scooped a silver medal in his first time to enter the competition.
Reid, who is executive chef for Sodexo at Almac, Craigavon, Co. Armagh, impressed the judging panel with his starter of Kohlrabi linguine with prosociano and black truffle pesto, followed by an entrée of hake with a risotto nero, langoustines and fennel, while his dessert was a chocolate truffle tart with kumquat and bergamot icecream.
Reid said, “I’m just over the moon with my result and it was fantastic to compete at such a high level. Preparing and cooking three top class courses of two plates each in a 90-minute timeframe is challenging enough outside the heat of competition, so I practised every day for two weeks beforehand so that everything was fresh in my mind. It kept me strong, focused and prevented the inevitable competition nerves from hampering my performance on the day.”
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Julianne Forrestal, executive craft development chef for Sodexo Ireland, commented, “Winning the Chef of the Year title for Ireland last September was just the first step in a six-month journey that culminated at the Grand Final in March. Nicky attended a mentoring day and a chocolate workshop in the UK with Michael Egan, our head chef at VHI and a member of the Panel of Chefs in Ireland, where his proposed competition dishes were reviewed, deconstructed, refined and finessed with Michelin-starred chefs. The focus is on continual learning and development so it’s a fabulous experience for any chef.”
Reid was assisted by David Fountain, group executive chef at PayPal Ireland, two-time winner of the Sodexo Ireland Chef of the Year title and seasoned competitor in the UK and Ireland Grand Final.
Reid added, “I am very grateful to Julianne Forrestal, our executive craft development chef, and Michael Egan, head chef at VHI in Dublin for their mentoring, and especially to David Fountain for his support and invaluable words of wisdom on the day itself.”