Global food, facilities management and uniform services provider, Aramark, has announced a new culinary champion in the UK.
The company’s ‘Chef of the Year 2015’ title went to Joaquin Perez Olmedo, a sous chef working for Aramark at a large financial institution in London, who impressed a judging panel of Aramark and Unilever experts with his mouth-watering roast breast of guinea fowl, crispy leg, braised leeks, soubise puree, pickled carrots, and carrot & star anise dressing. For dessert, he showcased a sumptuous passion fruit cheesecake with braised pineapple, candied walnuts, and rum & lime ice cream.
Olmedo beat off six fellow contestants who had made it through to the final round of the competition held in the development kitchens at Unilever Food Solutions, Aramark’s Chef of the Year event partner.
Contestants could use their flair to cook any main course and dessert, but had to choose from a list of ingredients to prepare their creations. The panel chose Olmedo after judging all seven finalists’ courses on factors including technical ability, presentation and, ultimately, taste.
Olmedo originally from Spain, said:
“I’m so pleased to be Aramark’s new Chef of the Year. It’s a relief that my preparation and planning has paid off, particularly when the standard among my fellow finalists seemed so high.
“When I first came to London five years ago I was so keen to know more about English cuisine. The food and the techniques were so different from what I knew and I fell in love with it. Since then I’ve always wanted to show what I can do and I think this competition has really allowed me to keep learning and improving, and get the most from English cuisine.”
Gerard O’Sullivan, culinary director for Aramark in the UK and who led the competition, commented:
“The standard this year really was the highest yet and every competitor should feel extremely proud of themselves. It shows that we have so much talent in our business.
“Our mission is to deliver experiences that enrich and nourish lives, and our Chef of the Year competition absolutely does that, allowing all our finalists to show their innovation and creative style while supporting their career development.”