“Chance to Represent your Country and your Company” Official team photo of the Compass Group Culinary Team Finland. Photo: Terhi Hytönen

We spoke to some of the participating chefs about their experiences at the IKA/Culinary Olympics 2024. This time, the gold-winning Compass Group Culinary Team Finland gives us an insight into what it feels like to be an Olympic champion and what they thought of the updated community catering competition.

Interview Anna Häuser Photos IKA/Culinary Olympics, Siiri Sintonen, Terhi Hytönen

The Compass Group Culinary Team is Olympic champions in the Community Catering Teams category. What did you feel when you went home from the IKA 2024?  

Arrival back to Helsinki after the competition. Photo Siiri Sintonen
Arrival back to Helsinki after the competition. Photo Siiri Sintonen

Pride, gratitude, and joy. The feeling was absolutely incredible! Of course, we wanted to win and give our best performance. Our goal was to give everything we had practiced for and of course, we hoped that it would be enough for first place and the gold medal. But honestly, it was a dream come true to actually win the gold. We were truly grateful and happy. Even back at home, it was hard to understand what just happened. It was amazing to see our families again after the competition and seeing how proud they were of our accomplishment. 

You took home the victory from the IKA – and the golden toque statues from RAK. Where are they now? 

We made sure that every team member would have the chance to celebrate their accomplishment with a golden statue, thus the statues have traveled across Finland with the team members. 

What did taking part in the IKA mean to you? 

It is hard to put to words how big of an honor it is to participate in an event like the IKA Olympics. Being given the chance to represent your country and your company is something that we do not take for granted. Getting to be a part of a celebration of culinary excellence like this is something we’ll value and appreciate for the rest of our lives.  It was an unforgettable experience that brought appreciation for our work and our industry.  

The Community Catering competition was revised and updated for the IKA 2024 (conference food & vegetable as the main component). What is your feedback? What would you like to see at the IKA 2028? 

I think the newly applied tasks and rules challenged the creativity of the teams in a positive manner. The task was challenging and interesting. Our team loved the challenge, and we were really excited about it. We like the direction where our competition series is headed and are eager to find out what the 2028 IKA/Culinary Olympics will hold for Community Catering.  

After the IKA is before…? What’s next for your team? 

Right now, we are taking a well-deserved break. After summer we’ll start gathering our team back together and prepare towards the next challenges that await us!  

Thank you! 

Impressions of the IKA 2024

The team celebrated its victory.
The team celebrated its victory.
Finished menu of the team.
Finished menu of the team.









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