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Aramark announces Chef of the Year 2015

13 July 2015 by
Aramark announces Chef of the Year 2015

Foodservice firm Aramark has named sous chef Joaquin Perez Olmedo as the company's Chef of the Year 2015.

For dessert, he showcased a passion fruit cheesecake with braised pineapple, candied walnuts, and rum & lime ice cream.

The final featured seven chefs competing for the title 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, described the final as "pressured but enjoyable".

He 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."

The seven finalists came from across the country and work for Aramark at locations as varied as military bases and headquarter offices.

For Richard Neish and Alex Cole it was their second time as finalists, with Kay Blackburn, David Bryant, Keri Larcom and David Mitchell completing the line-up.

Gerard O'Sullivan, culinary director for Aramark in the UK, who led the competition, congratulated all the finalists.

He said: "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."

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