Sodexo Partners With Leading Chefs to Bring Authentic Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese Cuisine to College Campuses

January 28, 2009

Culinary Stars to Satisfy Eclectic College Student Palate, Provide Healthy Options

Sodexo Partners With Leading Chefs to Bring Authentic Mexican, Thai and Vietnamese Cuisine to College Campuses

GAITHERSBURG, Md., January 28, 2009 — Chefs Mai Pham and Roberto Santibañez, have joined with Sodexo to bring their respective culinary specialties, Thai and Vietnamese and authentic Mexican, to 600 college campuses served by Sodexo, a leading food service and facilities management company. The partnership will help satisfy a growing culinary literacy among college students who have traveled to or lived in different countries or read about world cuisines and insist on authentic flavors.

“These talented chefs will partner with Sodexo’s powerful team of topnotch chefs to create exciting culinary experiences for our campus customers,” said Tom Post, Sodexo president of campus dining. “Together, we will showcase the mastery of our chefs and appeal to the culinary adventure that today’s student looks for in a campus dining experience.”

“I believe that my collaboration with Sodexo will not only lead to greater appreciation for Southeast Asian flavors but that in doing so, I will have the privelege of connecting to a community of chefs who actually feed many, many more people than I ever will at my own restaurants,” said Pham, chef/owner of renowned Lemon Grass restaurant in Sacramento, food columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and host of “My Country, My Kitchen: Vietnam” on The Food Network.

In 2009, Sodexo will bring the unique cuisine of Pham and Santibañez through special menu series created by the chefs, which include popular street foods from Southeast Asia and Mexico and authentic home favorites, including rice paper wrapped salad rolls and red snapper Veracruz style. The program also features chances for customers to travel with the chefs to learn about their countries, culture, and cuisine. National webcast events will feature both chefs conducting live demonstrations with special components allowing for audience interaction. A special cookbook fundraiser will involve students in helping to stop hunger in Vietnam and Mexico, the home countries of the chefs.

“Working with Sodexo will be a great channel to give more exposure to my food and hopefully to positively impact the diets of many young people in the country,” said Santibañez, culinary partner for Carlos Santana’s Maria Maria restaurants in California, Arizona and Texas. He is the author of “Rosa’s New Mexican Table,” which he wrote during his five years as culinary director at Rosa’s Mexicano restaurant in New York.

A key element of the program is continuing professional development  for Sodexo’s 530 expert chefs who serve college campuses.  Besides pleasing customers, the program will enhance the professional expertise and expand the culinary portfolio of Sodexo’s exceptional culinary team across the country.  Pham and Santibañez will be present at every campus, via a video link, to showcase their cuisine.

Sodexo, Inc.
Sodexo, Inc. ( is a leading integrated facilities management services company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with $7.7 billion (USD) in annual revenue and 120,000 employees. Sodexo serves more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, long term care and retirement centers, schools, college campuses, government, and remote sites. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., is a member of Sodexo Group, and funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (, an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $11 million in grants to fight hunger in America.


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