Sodexo Chef of the Year 2022 winner revealed

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.

At HRC, 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.

Receiving gold best in class for his menu, Bowman scored highly for his complex flavours, presentation, and sustainable ingredients.

His menu began with a starter of Tom Kha Gai; a Thai coconut soup served in biodegradable bowls. For his main course, he served chorizo battered Norwegian cod, bravas fritas, mojo verde, and mashed fava beans. For dessert, Kyle created a Snickers chocolate éclair, made with peanuts, nougat, caramel, chocolate, and vanilla cream.

Adam Harty from Johnson and Johnson Pinewood Campus in Wokingham represented Sodexo’s Corporate Services and was awarded runner-up by the judges.

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.

At the end of the competition, Kyle was presented with a trophy for winning the prestigious competition.

Bowman is 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.

Bowman (pictured right) 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.”

David Mulcahicy, Food Innovation & Sustainability Director at Sodexo UK and Ireland, (pictured left), 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.'

Sodexo Chef of the Year 2022 finalists:
• Kyle Bowman - Sodexo Live! – Gold
• Adam Harty - Corporate Services – Gold
• Adam Smith - Schools & Universities – Gold
• 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

Sodexo Chef of the Year 2022 was judged by:
• Nick Smith, UK National Chef of the Year 2021
• Michael Kitts, Culinary Director, School of Hospitality, Dubai
• Alex Hall, Head of Culinary, Unilever Foodsolutions
• Gary Hunter, Deputy Head, Westminster Kingsway College
• Sarah Frankland, Head of Pastry, Pennyhill Park
• Steve Scuffell, Lead Chef, World Skills
• Harry Lomas MBE, Executive Chef Wembley Stadium

Sodexo Chef of the Year 2022 was kindly supported by Unilever Foodsolutions, Norwegian Seafood, Lockhart Catering and The Craft Guild of Chefs.