Senior pastry chef Kat Barnes is the latest in a line of chefs working for Independents by Sodexo at LVS Ascot to be heading off to Paris for special training.
Kat appears alongside executive development chef Tom Allen in the video and talks about how much she is colleagues and other Independents by Sodexo chefs have now been making for two years.
It’s reward for Kat’s development at LVS Ascot which was crowned last autumn when she claimed the title Sodexo Junior Chef of the Year at the company’s annual chef skills event, the Salon Culinaire.
“I’ve wanted to be a chef since I was 14. When I was young, I always helped my mum baking when she made cakes. I then started watching cookery programmes, which is literally all I watch on TV. Straight after school I knew that I wanted to go to college to learn how to be a chef. It’s just all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
Winning the title came as a shock to Kat but head chef at LVS Ascot, Lea Eastman Thompson couldn’t have been more delighted. “I am really proud of how far she has come through her hard work and dedication,” he said.
“When I was younger I loved helping him to bake cakes and prepare the family meals and he encouraged me to attend catering college.” “I joined Sodexo in 2010 as chef de partie and was quickly promoted to sous chef, senior sous chef and now I’m head chef.”
Lea heads a team catering for day and boarding pupils at LVS Ascot and lunch is provided for up to 1,400 pupils and staff every day.
He took on the top role from Steven Wylie, who is now a development chef working alongside Tom Allen.
He helped to change the operating style of the kitchen, eventually leading a team of nine chefs as it grew from being one of the smaller contracts to one of the most high profile.
The strength of the progress at Ascot saw Independents by Sodexo take on two additional LVS sites, at Hassocks and, more recently, Oxford.
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