Raymond Cavanagh, head chef at Glasgow Sheriff Court in Scotland, has beaten hundreds of competitors to win the Sodexo Chef of the Year title in a contest held at Hotelympia.
Cavanagh, who has worked for Sodexo for 12 years, was one of 10 chefs who competed in the final, representing Sodexo's prestige, healthcare, education, defence and corporate services divisions.
The finalists were tasked with preparing and presenting a three-course menu in 90 minutes in front of a live audience, which included former England international rugby player and Sodexo ambassador Matt Dawson.
Cavanagh's winning menu comprised goats' cheese fondant, served with pistachio and orange scone, rocket salad and caramelised walnuts, followed by best end of lamb served in its own jus, chive mash, Stornoway black pudding stick and a medley of vegetables, finished off with a pineapple tarte tatin, served with passion fruit soufflé and coconut ice-cream.
A panel of judges, led by Sodexo craft and food development director and competition organiser David Mulcahy, awarded him gold.
Commenting on Cavanagh's performance, Mulcahy said: "To perform the way he did at Hotelympia, one of the most prestigious culinary events in the UK, in a very challenging competition environment, is testament not only to his vast talent, but also to the support he has been able to call upon during the competition."
Cavanagh added: "I was nervous going into the competition, but quietly confident too as I'd spent a lot of time practising. I really wanted to get into the top three this year, so I was thrilled to hear my name called out as the winner.
"I am extremely proud of this achievement. It would not have been possible without the support I received from my commis chef Hamish McKay, who kept me calm on the day."
Cavanagh will now embark on a unique study trip, courtesy of Sodexo, where he will be given the opportunity to develop his culinary skills through a series of training workshops.
A silver medal was awarded to James Davis, chef de partie at Eton College, and bronze medals went to Simon Robertson from Reckitt Benckiser, Gary Hughes, head chef at Transport for London, and Ben Dutson, head chef for Prestige Events.
Watch footage of Sodexo's performance at Hotelympia here:VIDEO: School cook Andrew Willcox wins Sodexo Chef of the Year title >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/05/03/2010/332499/video-school-cook-andrew-willcox-wins-sodexo-chef-of-the-year-title.htm) [Sodexo chef named School Chef of the Year 2008 >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/12/06/2008/321456/sodexo-chef-named-school-chef-of-the-year-2008.htm) [VIDEO: Sodexo names John Hughes Chef of the Year >>](http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/01/02/2011/336766/video-sodexo-names-john-hughes-chef-of-the-year.htm) *By Janie Manzoori-Stamford* E-mail your comments to [Janie Manzoori-Stamford](mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) here. [![Tabletalk](https://cdn.filestackcontent.com/0hcj0CnkR0aZyARLgtEs)](www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/tabletalk)If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to [www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/tabletalk](http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/tabletalk) Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs Looking for a new job? Find your [next job here](http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/jobs) with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs