|From Grill Cook to Author: Sodexo Chef Shares His Career Story
By Desmond Fannin, Director, Culinary Services for Offer Development Group, North America
In January 2012, I celebrated 10 years with Sodexo. My career has been varied and exciting all at once because of great developmental opportunities. I've taken my passion for cooking farther than I could have imagined during my career with Sodexo.
I learned about Sodexo at a career fair while I was in culinary school. I started working for Sodexo through the Staffing Service and within two weeks I was hired full-time.
In less than nine years, I've gone from a new culinary graduate to overseeing the culinary direction, marketing and purchasing decisions for a team that prepares nearly 9 million meals annually for K-12 students in Atlanta public schools. Now I serve as the Director of Culinary Services for Offer Development Center for all of North America.
As District Executive Chef of Atlanta Public Schools, I managed a wide range of catering and special events, directed three production chefs, and oversaw menu and recipe development (with the assistance of the District Dietitian) of meals for the system's 90 schools.
As an Atlanta native, I'm pleased to work for a company that gives me the opportunity to give back to the community I grew up in. I've participated in a variety of local charitable efforts, including Habitat for Humanity, Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless, and many others. I've helped expose high school culinary students to the opportunities available to them through participation at the National Restaurant Association and the NAACP ACT-SO program.
My cooking career began at the age of 15 at a restaurant called Ryan's Steakhouse and the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) shortly thereafter. I have come a long way since the days of IHOP. However, my passion for food and art has led to significant career successes as well as personal success. I can now add "author" to my title. My first book, Seafood the way I "sea" it: A collection of 30 easy recipes for the Seafood Lover, was recently published.
Are you interested in a rewarding culinary career with Sodexo? Learn about how you can have a tremendous quality of life with outstanding career advancement opportunities by visiting our Sodexo Chefs Jobs site.