Last week, Sodexo’s first Sustainable Chef Challenge took place in Germany and saw French Chef Dominique Dörr take home top honours after completing the competition alongside the top 7 finalists.

This international challenge brought together Sodexo’s talent from around the world to showcase the power of innovative plant-based dishes in driving a more sustainable future.

The winner of the "Sustainable Chef Challenge" Dominique Dörr from France prevailed with his dish against Ashwin Iyangar (India), Levi Viana da Silva (Brazil), Daniel Szarolkiewicz (Norway), Rodrigo Cartes Valdes (Chile), Claudia Saldana-Rose (USA) and Adam Smith (United Kingdom). In addition to flavour and originality, judges also awarded the contestants for creativity in so-called "upcycling": the use of ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away.  All dishes were designed so that Sodexo kitchen teams could easily prepare them globally.

The Sustainable Chef Challenge is part of Sodexo’s ongoing actions to raise awareness on sustainable eating: 

  • Through the use of a broader variety of plant-based ingredients to create tasteful recipes
  • To positively influence people’s health and reduce the impact on the environment.

Food and agriculture are two of the biggest contributors to global warming, responsible for 1/3 of all greenhouse gas emissions, of which approximately 69% is due to animal agriculture. Sodexo has committed to reduce its carbon emissions by 34% between 2017 and 2025. By 2040, Sodexo wants to achieve the Net Zero goal together with the Science Based Targets Initiative. This competition will contribute to reaching these goals by promoting 100% plant-based recipes that have low CO2 emissions, certified by third party Sodexo partners Eaternity and WWF which evaluated how sustainable the finalists' dishes really were.  

Patrick Sochnikoff, Sodexo's Group SVP Corporate and Social Responsibility and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer said: “Sustainability is the most important topic of our time – for our talents, also for our clients and consumers around the world. We believe in the power of food in driving a more sustainable future, and this challenge is both an opportunity and an obligation for a company like Sodexo.  We can positively impact the food system by giving our clients around the world more options to choose tasteful sustainable meals. The "Sustainable Chef Challenge" demonstrates how we, as a company, go beyond national borders to create awareness and develop solutions”.

John Wright, Senior Vice President of Global Food at Sodexo said: "There is growing consumer demand for sustainable foods and 60% of consumers eat a meatless meal at least once a week. Through this project, we challenged our chefs around the world to respond to the plant-based food trend and use their creativity to develop new recipes with taste and sustainability at their heart. Our chefs have embraced the move towards a greener diet as an opportunity and are pioneering the shift to plant-based ingredients in our kitchens". 

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