Two chefs from Sodexo, a leading provider of on-site service solutions, have triumphed at the prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs Award which was held at the Lancaster London Hotel on 24 June.
Steve Golding, executive head chef at Ascot Racecourse for Sodexo, received the title of Banqueting Chef of the Year while Derek Reilly, executive head chef at Aviva Ireland for Sodexo became Contract Catering Chef of the Year.
Now in their 17th year, the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards recognise and reward leading talented chefs working in kitchens across the industry. With 13 categories Steve and Derek were among 40 finalists invited to the awards ceremony, which itself has become an unmissable event in the industry calendar, with more than 600 culinary professionals gathering under one roof to celebrate with their peers. Master of the Royal Household and president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, Air Vice Marshal David Walker OBE, also attended this year’s ceremony.
Two other Sodexo chefs were also shortlisted and attended the awards; Mark Wetherill, head chef at AstraZeneca Macclesfield joined Steve in the shortlist for the Contract Catering Chef award and Robin Turner, executive development chef for Sodexo’s central craft team was shortlisted for the Cost Sector Chef award.
David Mulcahy, Sodexo craft and food development director, said: “We are extremely proud of all four chefs as getting shortlisted is a great achievement in itself. These awards are some of the highest profile in the industry. We have some outstanding talent at Sodexo and its times like these that our hard work and the commitment from our chefs really reward us.”
Andrew Green, chairman of the Craft Guild of Chefs, said: “The wonderful thing about these accolades is they don’t discriminate, but reward passionate, talented chefs from across the whole industry, whether they work in a village pub, a fine dining restaurant, a city university or in the world of contract catering. They might develop products for national retailers or serve our British soldiers.
“This year, we had an incredibly difficult task before us, with an exceptional choice of candidates all gunning for what is now known in the industry as a chef’s Oscar. Each coveted gong not only brings with it kudos and prestige, but also recognition from the leading chefs’ association in the UK.”