Aramark announces new company chef of the year

Catering and FM group, Aramark has a new culinary champion in the UK. Joaquin Perez Olmedo has won a close and nail-biting final to become the company’s Chef of the Year 2015.

Perez Olmedo, a sous chef for Aramark at a large London financial institution, won against six fellow competitors in the development kitchens at Unilever Food Solutions, Aramark’s Chef of the Year event partner.

The chef impressed a judging panel of Aramark and Unilever experts – including last year’s winner, Aramark’s John Cudmore – with his roast breast of guinea fowl, crispy leg, braised leeks, soubise puree, pickled carrots, and carrot & star anise dressing. For dessert, he showcased a passion fruit cheesecake with braised pineapple, candied walnuts, and rum & lime ice cream.

Perez Olmedo, originally from Spain, said, “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, congratulated all the finalists. “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.

“Huge congratulations go to Joaquin, who not only has this prestigious title, but also wins £1,000 and will become one of our technical judges in next year’s competition.”