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Chef Kam Chhut from Loreto

Chef Kam’s passion for food started at a young age. “I remember helping Mum in the kitchen slicing kaffir lime, peeling garlic, roasting off chilli and smashing galangal in mortar and pestle amongst other things. I have three siblings who always considered it a chore to help in the kitchen while really I enjoyed it.”

Following his passion, in 1993, Kam took up an apprenticeship in commercial cookery with Gardner Merchant, gaining experience at numerous sites. His natural skill and ambition earned him recognition as Apprentice of The Year. To broaden his knowledge, Kam decided to complete his apprenticeship at multiple restaurants and hotels around Melbourne. “For 6 years I worked split shifts, weekends and nights, chalking up close to 70 hrs some weeks. It was tough but the knowledge I gained during this time was invaluable.”

In 2001, Kam joined the Sodexo which acquired the contract catering business Gardner Merchant Kam previously worked for.

Grilled Lemongrass Chicken“In almost 20 years with Sodexo, I've worked in many segments of the company, from small cafes (Myer, Knox City) to large dining halls (Daimler Chrysler), corporate offices (PWC) and education (Loreto)." Kam has been based at Loreto Mandeville Hall Toorak for the past nine years and says, “While I have enjoyed my time at all the sites I’ve worked at, it’s Loreto I've truly come to appreciate the most."

Kam credits the supportive team environment and in particular, the school principal and business client in entrusting him to run a successful operation that supports quality of life at the school. "We strive to provide the students and staff with food that is both nutritious and delicious. With the support of the Food Platform, we were able to introduce the Mindful by Sodexo service which satisfies both these needs while encouraging healthy eating. We have a small Sodexo team at Loreto but we all know what we have to do and support each other to get the job done every day.”

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