Following the preliminary rounds across five continents, the final of the Sodexo Sustainable Chef Challenge was held at the Rational headquarters, Landsberg am Lech, Germany, at the beginning of December.
The seven finalists competed for four days, with Sodexo and Rational looking for the best sustainable dish. The overall winner was Dominique Doerr from France. The ingredients of the winning dish, "Légumes rotis terre et mer", included carrots, celery and a seaweed vinaigrette.
The other six finalists were Ashwin Iyangar (India), Levi Viana da Silva (Brazil), Daniel Szarolkiewicz (Norway), Rodrigo Cartes Valdes (Chile), Claudia Saldana-Rose (USA ) and Adam Smith (United Kingdom).
The finalists faced a panel of experts chaired by German organic chef Simon Tress. The panel was looking for in-house creations that are 100% plant-based and have low CO2 emissions. Creativity was also rewarded in the form of "upcycling", the use of ingredients that would otherwise be disposed off. The dishes also had to be designed so that Sodexo kitchen teams around the world could easily prepare them, as their recipes will be available on the menus of Sodexo staff restaurants.
Representatives from Sodexo and Jörg Walter, CFO of Rational AG, selected the winner, saying, "We are delighted that our long-standing, international client Sodexo has chosen our company headquarters as the venue for the competition. We are impressed by the performance and diversity of the food. Not only did the international chefs show how delicious vegetarian dishes can be, but also that the two iCombi and iVario cooking systems can provide excellent support for large commercial kitchens."