National Chef of Wales finalists announced

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th November 2015
Two chefs from the Michelin starred Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa have made it through to the National Chef of Wales final after closely contested semi-finals. Ben TaylorBenjamin Taylor, 34, head chef and Thomas Westerland, 24, chef de partie, from the five star rated hotel at Colerne, will be joined in the final by Jack Davison, 23, sous chef from Deganwy Quay Hotel and Spa, and Nathan Davies, 25, head chef at the Belle Vue Royal Hotel, Aberystwyth. They clinched the four final places after the semi-finals at NPTC Group’s Newtown campus on Monday. For the first time, the contest has been open to Wales born chefs who are now working outside the country. Previously, the contest was restricted to chefs living, working or studying in Wales. The competition is organised by the Culinary Association of Wales (CAW) and as well as being named as the best chef in Wales, the winner will automatically go through to the UK semi-finals of the National Chef of the Year contest. The final will be held on the last day of the 2016 Welsh International Culinary Championships at Coleg Llandrillo, Colwyn Bay, on Thursday, February 18. The finalists will be given three hours to cook a three course meal. Ben explained it was his first competition and he was not expecting to qualify for the final. He said: “I know I can cook but didn’t know what it would be like competing in a stressful environment. It was nice to put up dishes that I was pleased with on the whole. Tom Westerland“I’m really pleased that Tom has also got through and we’re looking forward to the final. All the chefs in the kitchen made it a fun competition.” The judges were chairman John Retallick, CAW secretary, Colin Gray, chef patron of Capital Cuisine and CAW vice president, Michael Bates, executive chef at the Celtic Manor, Newport, Shaun Bailey, senior chef lecturer at NPTC Newtown campus, Eric Bruce, chef patron at Restaurant Severn, Ironbridge and Chris Bason, Cambrian Training Company’s head of hospitality. The judges praised the high standard of the competition and congratulated the chefs for producing some “stunning” individual dishes. The other semi-finalists were: Dion Jones, head chef at the Lion and Pheasant Hotel, Shrewsbury, John Quill, owner of JQ Catering Services, Cardiff, Andreas Leisinger, senior sous chef at St Georges Hotel, Llandudno, Nickolas Collins, director of Grate Catering and The Pickled Radish at The Laleston Inn, Laleston, near Bridgend.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th November 2015

National Chef of Wales finalists announced