A chef who has worked around the world and for major sporting venues in the North East has packed his utensils in his old kit bag and headed for the Stadium of Light.
Steve Welch, 55, started his career in the Army Catering Corps, with his training taking him as far afield as Hong Kong, Canada and Brunei.
But now, after stints in a range of top regional hotels, restaurants and sporting venues including Wynyard Hall, the Ramside Hall Hotel and the Falcons Rugby Club, as well as working on the catering at the Hartlepool Tall Ships Race in 2010, he has taken up the post of business development and executive head chef at Sunderland AFC.
“This is a very exciting opportunity for me,” he says. “SAFC and 1879 Event Management already have an excellent reputation operating in a very competitive industry and part of my role will be to ensure we’re ahead of the game.
“I’ll be looking at menu development and ensuring that we are innovative and looking at what’s on trend so we are always ahead of the competition.”
Steve will work closely with senior development chef Patrick Lesca and the existing team at the stadium while widening the on-going relationship with Sunderland College to support the next generation of young chefs.
Originally from Hampshire, Steve first came to the North East after leaving the Army in 1999.
“We are delighted to have Steve as part of our team,” says Gary Hutchinson, commercial director at SAFC.
“His experience in a number of areas and his passion and his knowledge will be a huge asset to the club as we move forward and expand this area of business.”