Competition success for Downpatrick chef Mark

Competition success for Downpatrick chef Mark

23 November 2011

A DOWNPATRICK chef has won an All-Ireland culinary competition.

Mark Lynott came top in Sodexo Salon Culinaire — the annual staff culinary competition organised by catering company Sodexo.

Mark is based at the Ulster Independent Clinic and will now represent Ireland at the Sodexo UK and Ireland Chef of the Year Grand Final at London’s Hotelympia in February. 

Mark comes from a family of chefs — his father once worked as a chef on board the Queen Mary and his brother is head chef at Aldens Restaurant on the Newtownards Road in Belfast. 

Before joining Sodexo over two years ago, Mark had worked in several top restaurants and hotels in the UK and Channel Islands but had never entered any culinary competitions.

“Sodexo really encourages 

their chefs to get involved in culinary competitions and I am glad that I did,” he said. “It’s a fantastic experience as there is nothing like a bit of competition to sharpen your skills and always good to see what other chefs are doing.

“I had prepared well and everything fell into place on the day so I was very pleased to have won.”

Mark is now looking forward to competing with 10 finalists from across the UK in front of thousands of visitors to the Hotelympia hospitality exhibition in February.

“We will be cooking live in front of an international judging team as well as an audience of our professional peers so it’s going to be a real test of nerves,” he said. “But I am really looking forward to the challenge and determined not to come home empty-handed. It would be a great achievement to be the first Sodexo chef based in Ireland to win.”