By Chloé Rada, Senior Marketing Manager - Talent Acquisition
All our bags are packed, our team is prepped and we’re ready to head to Las Vegas for the American Culinary Federation National Convention next week!
Among the attendees will be local Executive Chef-turned-General Manager, Catherine Theresa McKiernan, CEC, who has been with Sodexo for the past three years at a private High School in Las Vegas. She is looking forward to attending the conference to see what’s new in the culinary world and to keep up on her game!
We asked her to share a little bit about herself and the ingredients for a great career at Sodexo.
How did your career path bring you to Sodexo?
I have been working in the food/hospitality industry for more than twenty-five years. Some of those years were in Glasgow, Scotland. When I came to America as a college student, my first job was a dishwasher/utility worker in a summer camp in Northern Wisconsin. As I learned and grew in my culinary career I had a variety of jobs, both front and back of the house, and during that whole time I had never even heard of Sodexo.
It wasn’t until after my husband and I decided to move out west to be closer to family, after ten years as Executive Chef in a private club, and began a new job search that I learned of this great company! I began to see the Sodexo name crop up in job postings – and they had such a variety of positions all throughout the US that I realized that they were actually a pretty big deal!
How do you use your culinary background as a General Manager?
It would be almost impossible to be a GM in Sodexo Food Service without a culinary background. I use my culinary knowledge every day, whether it is creating menus, training the cooks or meeting with the clients for catering events and special menus for different groups within the school. My culinary background also gives me the discipline to organize my time and focus, as working in a kitchen is by definition being able to multi-task.
How has Sodexo assisted in your Professional Development?
Part of my development plan is to refine my strengths, so in turn I have been given assignments and tasks that will challenge me while at the same time train and educate me. In regards to my certification process, I was already a Certified Executive Chef but I had to recertify and Sodexo provided the support needed for this continuing education.
What advice would you have for someone seeking a culinary career path with Sodexo?
My advice is to understand that Sodexo is a very large organization, with many opportunities to use your culinary knowledge as a foundation to learn a multitude of other skills. Also, Sodexo will recognize and reward you for bringing your skills and culinary passion to work which can be rare in the industry!
You can meet Catherine, other top Sodexo Chefs and our recruitment team starting next Tuesday and Wednesday at booth number 604. Please join our Talent Community to express your interest and tell us more about yourself!