So how does the chef of a Gaithersburg retirement community end up cooking at the London summer Olympics?

In a word: Sodexo.

Evaristo Gustines is the senior executive chef of Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg, a continuing care retirement community where Sodexo, Inc., the humongous international food and facilities management company runs the food service, housekeeping, laundry and grounds.

Sodexo also happens to be the official caterer for the Olympic Park South (the site that includes the Olympic stadium and aquatics arena).

“Chef Gus,” a 46-year-old with a long career in high-volume cooking and upscale catering at hotels and country clubs, said a senior vice president at Sodexo suggested he put his name in the hiring hat.

After an application process, he was selected as one of only 26 staff members in all of Sodexo’s North American operations to work at the Olympic venue. He will be joined by other international Sodexo staffers, as well as thousands of temporary workers hired just for the games.  

Gustines, who said he has never been to London, is leaving on July 22, and will be back August 14. The opening ceremony for the Olympics is scheduled for July 27.

When I spoke with Gustines last week, he was still waiting for his work visa and more information about his assignment. He was told that he’ll be staying at the University of Bedfordshire, about 50 minutes from the Olympic Park. 

“I will definitely be a chef there, but I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ll be cooking for athletes, spectators or the media.”

Whatever he does, “it will be exciting,” Gustines said.