Sodexo nurtures young talent at Ireland skills live 2019

Sodexo Ireland, one of the country’s leading food and facilities management providers, was delighted to sponsor the National Restaurant Service and Cookery categories in the National Skills Final held at Ireland Skills Live in the RDS, Dublin from 21-23 March 2019.

The event was also attended by the President of Ireland, Mr Michael D. Higgins.  Pictured are the company’s three chefs who supported the third level student competitors in the National Restaurant Service category;  l/r, Kellie Halligan, WIT;  Ciaran Kelly, group chef for Sodexo at Ervia;  winner Ruairí Grealish, SCHM;  Ian Moloney, SCHM; Sinead Moore, craft development chef, Sodexo Ireland; Tara Saliwonczyk, GMIT; Philip Leech, exec chef for Sodexo at Central Bank and Sinead Ni Ghallachoir, TU Dublin.


Sodexo country president Margot Slattery took to the Heroes stage on Friday 22nd March for the ‘Cooking Up A Storm’ session to speak about her own personal journey from chef to country president and to promote the diversity and rewards of a career in the hospitality industry.


Margot Slattery said “Hospitality in all its forms is the lynchpin of how we are going to grow as a country. However, there is a shortage of chefs and other culinary professionals right now that must be addressed. The hospitality industry is the fuel for the engine of our economy, so we must encourage young people to come into the industry and support them.”

Several of the winners in the National Skills Final will be competing at the World Skills Olympics in Russia later this year, so the heat was on to produce the highest quality entries. In the National Restaurant Service category, over the course of three days, the third level student competitors had to demonstrate their front of house skills in gueridon service, silver service, cocktail making and flambé to guests and judges in a restaurant setting. The dishes were prepared by Sodexo’s chef team of Sinead Moore, craft development chef, Philip Leech, executive chef for Sodexo at Central Bank and Ciaran Kelly, group chef for Sodexo at Ervia. The winner was Ruairi Grealish from the Shannon College of Hotel Management in Clare.


In the Cookery category, also sponsored by Sodexo, competitors had to demonstrate their skill in performing multiple culinary tasks across a spectrum of disciplines and the winner was Aisling Delaney of IT Tralee.


Julianne Forrestal, executive development chef, Sodexo Ireland said “Our chefs Sinead, Ciaran and Philip thoroughly enjoyed the experience and my thanks to them for all the help, support and encouragement they gave to the young competitors. Skills Live was an ideal showcase to highlight the support in terms of training and further education that Sodexo offers  prospective employees setting out on their careers.  The standard of competition was uniformly excellent and competing in the National Skills Final is a welcome addition to any student portfolio.”


Sodexo also had a recruitment stand where Jolanta Binkowska, human resources advisor and Ciaran Finnegan, employee relations and industrial relations advisor, were available to chat and advise students interested in a career in catering, front of house and facilities management with the company.


Sodexo is a leading provider of food and facilities management services to clients in business and industry, education, financial services, government services and healthcare in Ireland and Northern Ireland.  It employs approximately 3,700 people in 230 locations with a combined turnover of €141 million in 2018.  It is part of the Sodexo Group, the world’s largest services company.

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