Sodexo employee wins inaugural Paula Mee Applied Culinary Nutrition Award

Sunday, July 16, 2023.
Sodexo employee wins inaugural Paula Mee Applied Culinary Nutrition Award
John Core of Sodexo with Finola Mee and Sandra Mee, two of Paula’s sisters and Annette Sweeney, senior lecturer in Culinary Arts at TU Dublin

John Core, culinary nutrition lead and group business manager with catering and workplace services provider Sodexo Ireland, has won the inaugural Paula Mee Applied Culinary Nutrition Memorial Award from TU Dublin.

It was established earlier this year by the university’s School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology in memory of Paula, a well-known author and lecturer at the school, who was one of Ireland’s most prominent dieticians and food experts for the past two decades. It is only open to graduates, John Core among them, of the Master of Culinary Arts Applied Nutrition programme delivered on the university’s Tallaght Campus.

Annette Sweeney, senior lecturer in Culinary Arts and the master’s programme lead at TU Dublin, presented the Award to John Core at a recent celebration in Dublin. Annette said: “The Paula Mee Applied Culinary Nutrition Memorial Award recognises excellence and showcases the application of culinary nutrition by graduates of the MSc in Culinary Arts Applied Nutrition, in their workplace, in their professional activities or research. It honours Paula’s passion for nutrition and the importance she placed on learning and sharing knowledge and in making a difference in the nutritional health of others.”

The ethos and research activity are focused on empowering students and graduates to creatively and confidently apply their learning to innovate food for health and wellness, in line with current food and dietary trends.

Commenting on his win, John Core said “I’m absolutely delighted as it such a huge honour to be the first to win this Award. I was fortunate enough to work with Paula while completing my master’s and to have my name associated with someone of her calibre is very high praise. I want to express my gratitude for the positive impact that she and the master’s programme has had upon my career. It has inspired and empowered me to pioneer new pathways for health through culinary nutrition for Sodexo’s clients and my work colleagues.”

Sodexo employee wins inaugural Paula Mee Applied Culinary Nutrition Award

John’s winning entry focused on the application of his learnings from the master’s programme for Sodexo Ireland clients, colleagues and communities. With a growing desire by employers to support employee’s health and wellbeing, John is supporting clients in Ireland, via a mix of workshops, webinars, blogs, and pop-up food concepts, to raise awareness of optimising nutrition in the workplace.

For his colleagues, John designed and led Sodexo Ireland’s successful #FullyFuelled challenge, a 4-week programme based on the Mediterranean diet, complete with recipes and a weekly webinar, to encourage healthier eating patterns.  John was also involved in the content development of a nutritionally sound series of video recipes for one of Sodexo’s charity partners, Focus Ireland, designed to support families exiting homelessness.

The independent judging panel members, Dr Aileen McGloin (Director of Nutrition, Safefood) Nuala Collins (FSAI Reformulation Task force), Sylvia Thompson (The Irish Times), Dr Linda Shiue (USA) and Joshna Maharaj (Toronto), commended all finalists on the valuable contribution they are making to the health of others through their work.

Workplace services provider Sodexo Ireland employs 2,000 people on the island of Ireland. It is part of the global Sodexo Group, a world leader in delivering services that improve the quality of life to clients in business and industry, education, financial, pharma and healthcare. These include food services, infrastructure build, facilities and estate management, optimising the workplace experience, wellness experiences, personal and homecare services.

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