Street food & plant-based ingredients star in international culinary competition

Talented chef finalists from diverse corners of the globe came together yesterday at the grand finale of ISS’s annual Culinary Competition in Copenhagen. With a sharp focus on global street food and sustainability trends, the chefs collectively showcased their dedication to advancing ISS’s ambition of providing sustainable world-class culinary experiences to its customers across more than 20 countries worldwide.

2023_09_21_Preparing the winning courses

Lentils, kale, wild rice and beans were just some of the plant-based ingredients that the chefs could include in their individual creations, all designed to embody the essence of the best sustainable street food. And with chefs hailing from Australia, Belgium, Chile, Norway, Sweden, UK & Ireland and North America, the final results offered a delightful array of climate-friendly culinary experiences.


Bringing people together through sustainable food

The central theme of this year's competition was to bring people together through sustainable food, as Hamish Cook, Head of Group Food Services at ISS A/S, explained:


“Street food has evolved into a global trend, transcending borders, cuisines and social backgrounds, uniting people in an informal and authentic setting. Rooted in Far Eastern traditions, this timeless style of dining resonates particularly with today's younger generations due to its simplicity, reliance on fresh, locally sourced ingredients, and its capacity to bring diverse cultures together. 


“With more than 200 different cultures represented at ISS, across more than 30 countries, we firmly believe that we can positively contribute to this food trend – magnified by our continuous focus on sustainable food offerings and approaches. This includes reducing food waste and carbon emissions, promoting animal welfare, and enhancing health and well-being. We’re introducing street food stations in an increasing number of restaurants at customer sites worldwide, and this concept is also being integrated into our buffet and served-meal offerings.”


Celebrating culinary excellence beyond the winners

At the end, there could be only one winner. The panel of judges, which included the renowned Swedish chef Klas Lingberg, awarded the gold medal to Chun-Yen Chen and Jake Leach, two exceptional chefs from ISS Australia. The chefs also picked up the Waste Warrior Award – a special recognition for the team with the least food waste by weight at the end of the competition. Hamish Cook expressed his admiration for the winners, but also for the rest of the participating chefs:


“At ISS, we are firmly committed to supporting our employees through ongoing talent development, education and opportunities for professional recognition. We have built a strong global chef community, and it brings me immense joy and pride to see how our talented chefs are translating their diverse skills into the innovative food experiences we have witnessed throughout this competition.”  


The winners:

1st place: Chun-Yen Chen and Jake Leach, ISS Australia.

2nd place: Johannes Fløan and Kamil Radlak, ISS Norway.

3rd place: Brian Sarofeen and Michael Kedala, ISS North America.


The winning menu (see photo attached):

Main course 1: Yakiniku district rice burger, panko chicken and onion goodness.

Main course 2: Gouger St. south Australian crab dumplings and pan Asian soy dipping sauce.


About the Culinary Competition:

The International Culinary Competition is a prestigious global culinary contest open to food service professionals working for ISS around the world. The competition commenced with local contests in markets where ISS offers

food services, culminating in the selection of seven teams of two chefs to compete in the grand finale held at ISS HQ Copenhagen on 20 September. Since its inception in 2017, the International Culinary Competition has established itself as ISS’s culinary flagship event, providing ISS chefs with a global stage to showcase their culinary talent and skills.


For media enquiries
Charlotte Holm, Senior Global Media Relations Manager, +45 4176 1989


About ISS

ISS is a leading workplace experience and facility management company. In partnership with customers, ISS drives the engagement and well-being of people, minimises the impact on the environment, and protects and maintains property. ISS brings all of this to life through a unique combination of data, insight and service excellence at offices, factories, airports, hospitals and other locations across the globe. ISS has more than 350,000 employees around the globe, who we call “placemakers”. In 2022, ISS Group’s global revenue amounted to DKK 76.5billion. For more information on the ISS Group, visit www.issworld.com

2023_09_21_The winners of the International Culinary Competition