Sodexo’s Global Chef Program 2013
August 27, 2013
Global Chef program was initiated to facilitate the exchange of Sodexo executive chefs between affiliates around the world. The program involves exchanges of authentic international cuisine, traditional cooking techniques and culinary experience.
Sodexo is a global leader in food services, operating in 80 countries around the world and serving 75 million consumers daily. The company emphasizes the importance of good nutrition. Thus, the Sodexo chefs from Thailand also make their visits to countries around the world to share Thai culinary arts and culture with foreign chefs. As a result, Thai cuisine has become increasingly popular and well-known among foreigners.
Last month, Sodexo Thailand was delighted to welcome Chef Wendy Benney, a famous Sodexo chef from the United States. Growing up in a Polish-Slovak household, her great-great grandmother was the one who inspired her interest in cooking. Chef Wendy has over 27 years of extensive experience in the food industry and has worked with Sodexo for 17 years. She is well-known throughout the New England area. She also serves as the District Executive Chef supporting the Northeast regional campuses.
Chef Wendy admitted that it was her first trip to Thailand as well as her first time out of the United States. She travels extensively within the United States, primarily in the Northeast region. Chef Wendy always shares her own cooking techniques with local chefs as well as learns new techniques from them. Her philosophy has always been that food is pretty and beautiful and has great flavor on its own. She does not like to add many things to it. In other words, she prefers simple recipes.
During her visit to Thailand, Chef Wendy prepared a selection of delicious authentic American dishes for organizations that contracted Sodexo Thailand to provide food services and run its ‘be Restaurant’ such as The United Nation (UN), Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, Bangkok Hospital Pattaya, the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Concordian International School (CIS).
At Concordian International School (CIS), Chef Wendy prepared American-style lunch for international students, their parents and school staff, enabling them to enjoy authentic American cuisine. Additionally, she conducted a cooking demonstration for the parents, sharing cooking techniques and easy recipes. Some of her selected menus for Thailand included Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Macaroni & Cheese and Watermelon & Feta Salad with Coriander & Mint Honey Balsamic dressing. Chef Wendy commented that Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Macaroni & Cheese are very popular and easy to prepare. She did not fail to impress everyone at the school by her well-executed recipes.
In the United States, people do a lot of slow cooking. The longer it cooks, the more flavor comes out and the more tender it becomes. Just like it is here in Thailand, American cuisine is influenced by its neighbors, such as Mexico. For example, Tex-Mex food is the perfect combination between Texan and Mexican cuisine. Additionally, Mexican cuisine also has strong influence on the cuisine in California. But California Mexican food has a lot more vegetables.
Chef Wendy said that she would incorporate cooking techniques used by cuisines in different countries into American cuisine. She added that she would never walk away without learning something from everyone that she has ever come across. Sodexo Thailand started operations in June 2004 in partnership with Bangkok Dusit Medical Services Public Company Limited (BDMS). The company is Thailand’s leader in facilities management and professional catering services. The company has over 2,500 employees in Thailand.
Sodexo was founded in 1966 by Pierre Bellon in Marseilles, France, it is now the worldwide leader in Quality of Life services. For over 40 years, the company have developed unique expertise, backed by nearly 420,000 employees in 80 countries across the globe with gross revenue over 18.2 euro billion and with stock value of 10.5 euro billion in Euronext Paris.