Sodexo chefs and cooks took to the streets to get inspired for the company’s recent Love of Food Innovation Challenge. The theme of the digital culinary competition was “authentic street foods,” but entries also had to feature sustainably sourced and nutrient-dense ingredients.
To enter, the chefs and cooks submitted short videos of their recipes, discussing the inspiration behind their ideas. Ten finalists were selected by a panel of Sodexo culinary experts led by two celebrity chefs—JJ Johnson, TV host of Just Eats with Chef JJ, and James Beard Award winner Daniela Soto-Innes.
The winner of the competition was Sam Blackburn, who created a jackfruit stir fry. His dish fit all the contest criteria, including easy preparation, replication and serving. It also had to be capable of being eaten with just one piece of cutlery.
The plant-based stir fry combines slivers of jackfruit cooked with carrots, broccoli, water chestnuts, yellow squash and rice noodles, then topped with peanuts, fresh cilantro and jalapenos. A Thai-inspired sauce—a blend of fish sauce, tamari soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, chili paste, lime juice and sesame oil—ties the dish together.
Blackburn’s recipe will be rolled out to Sodexo retail locations in the near future. His prize includes a culinary weekend in Napa Valley.