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28th March 2022

Sodexo names Chef of the Year 2022 winner

Written by: Edward Waddell
Development chef Kyle Bowman has been named Sodexo Chef of the Year 2022 in a live cook-off at this year’s Hotel, Restaurant, and Catering (HRC) event held at ExCeL London.

Bowman represented Sodexo Live!, the organisations’ sports and leisure segment, making an impression on the competition judges with his street food menu using plant-based and Future 50 foods as well as sustainably sourced Norwegian seafood.  

He received praise from the judging panel for his complex flavours, presentation and sustainable ingredients. The winning menu included:

  • Starter: Tom Kha Gai- a Thai coconut soup served in biodegradable bowls.
  • Main course: Chorizo battered Norwegian cod, bravas fritas, mojo verde, and mashed fava beans.
  • Dessert: Snickers chocolate éclair, made with peanuts, nougat, caramel, chocolate and vanilla cream.

Eight chefs from across Sodexo UK & Ireland competed against each other in a live cook-off watched on by supportive colleagues, friends, and family, winning awards for their participation – three gold, two silver and three bronze. 

In preparation for the event, finalists attended a mentor day where they recreated their dishes for scrutiny and received one on one feedback from a team of expert industry chefs as well as a masterclass from The Craft Guild of Chefs UK National Chef of the Year winner Nick Smith.

Bowman is a lifelong Newcastle FC fan based at St James’s Park, where he works in the fine dining area, evolving and developing the menu. He will now have the opportunity to participate in an exclusive study trip to Norway to discover the country’s amazing cuisine and to visit sustainable fish farms courtesy of Seafood from Norway.

Commenting on his win, Bowman said: “I am delighted to have won the title of Chef of the Year 2022. I’ve only been with Sodexo for 10 months, so this feels like an incredible achievement. I spent quite a while developing the menu to make sure I was making the most of those ingredients and delivering three dishes packed with taste.

“I was influenced by global flavours and wanted to make sure I made the menu as sustainable as possible. As a chef, it is important to be able to adapt, not just to changing tastes but also to respond to the need for more sustainable ingredients.” 

Sodexo Chef of the Year 2022 finalists: 

  • Kyle Bowman - Sodexo Live! – Gold  (first place)
  • Adam Harty - Corporate Services – Gold (runner-up)
  • Adam Smith - Schools & Universities – Gold (runner-up)
  • Adam Collison - Corporate Services - Silver
  • Matthew Shipley - Sodexo Live! – Silver 
  • Ross Hamilton – Government – Bronze 
  • Malcolm Givan - Corporate Services, Ireland – Bronze 
  • Keith Pigott - Corporate Services, Ireland – Bronze

David Mulcahy, food innovation & sustainability director at Sodexo UK and Ireland, added: “We are very proud of Kyle for winning this coveted title and a massive well done to all those that participated in today’s final. Kyle’s dedication to Sodexo’s sustainable future has been demonstrated clearly through his food being delivered to such a high standard. All the chefs this year rose to the challenge of presenting a street food menu with high-quality dishes, which is a testament to their determination and training. 

“This year’s competition was designed to be relevant to what is happening currently in the food service sector, not only with the street food theme but also with an increased focus on sustainable ingredients and minimising food waste. Although the style of food was more informal than previous competitions, it still was a big test of the chef's skills, and the outcomes were excellent."