National Chef of Wales 2017 finalists revealed

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 23rd November 2016

The seven finalists who will compete in National Chef of Wales 2017 have been announced.

The finalists include Danny Burke, co-owner of Olive Tree Catering, Hawarden, Simon Crockford from the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Jason Hughes from Chateau Rhianfa, Menai Bridge, Matthew Smith from Nag’s Head, Garthmyl, Thomas Westerland from Michelin starred, Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa, near Bath, Matthew Ramsdale from Sebastians, Oswestry and Anthony Bush from Heronston Hotel, Bridgend.

Danny Burke
Danny Burke

The National Chef of Wales final will be split into two heats and will be held on February 23, the last day of the Welsh International Culinary Championships at Coleg Llandrillo, Rhos-on-Sea.

CAW president Arwyn Watkins said: "Due to the calibre of entries, we felt it would be an injustice not to have all seven chefs competing in the final, so we decided to split the final into two heats. It’s also great to see three members of the senior Culinary Team Wales and two members of the junior team stepping up as individuals to compete in the finals, which will showcase the culinary talent that the nation has.”

The winner will go on to represent Wales in the UK National Chef of the Year contest and will also win an all expenses paid, one week culinary trip to the Netherlands courtesy of Koppertcress, a set of knives courtesy of Dick Knives, £250 worth of products from Churchill China and Gourmet Classic shopping vouchers.

Danny Burke, who recently returned from the Culinary Olympics in Germany where he captained the Culinary Team Wales to win three bronze medals, is the only chef ever to win the senior and junior National Chef of Wales titles and  will return next year to try to regain the title.

Talking about re-entering, Danny said: “Now that I have my own business, I have a bit more time and experience to go and compete and, hopefully, win. It would be nice to be able to enjoy being crowned the best chef in Wales and not feel like a charlatan. 

“As captain of the senior Culinary Team Wales, I realise I am there to be shot at. All the finalists will have a fair chance and the winner will be the one that puts the most time and effort into his dishes. I intend to put my heart and soul into preparing for the next three months to give myself the best possible chance. If I don’t win, I will know that I was not good enough and it won’t be due to a lack of preparation.”

>>> Related: read more from National Chef of Wales here

The four finalists for Junior Chef of Wales have also been announced which includes Harry Paynter-Roberts from the Castle Hotel, Conwy and Steffan Davies from the two Michelin starred, Gidleigh Park, Exeter, this year’s Junior Chef of Wales runner-up James Corbett from the Elephant and Castle Hotel, Newtown and Harry Osborne from Signatures, Llandudno.

The four contestants will battle it out on the first day of the Welsh International Culinary Championships on February 20. The winner will automatically go through to the UK semi-finals of the Junior Chef of the Year contest. 

Both competitions are organised by the Culinary Association of Wales (CAW) and are sponsored is Food and Drink Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government’s department representing the food and drink industry.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 23rd November 2016

National Chef of Wales 2017 finalists revealed