National Chef of Wales semi-finalists announced

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 10th November 2015
Eight chefs will compete in the National Chef of Wales semi-finals next week to win a place in the finals and be crowned the new National Chef of Wales. For the first time, the competition has been open to Wales born chefs who are now working outside the country. Previously, the contest has been restricted to chefs living, working or studying in Wales. Dion Jones actionThe rule change sees three Welsh chefs who work in England take the chance to compete for the top culinary title in Wales. Dion Jones, head chef at the Lion and Pheasant Hotel, Shrewsbury is joined by Benjamin Taylor, head chef and Thomas Westerland, chef de partie, both from Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa. Dion and Thomas are involved in the first semi-final at NPTC’s Newtown campus on Monday at 10am. They will be up against John Quill, owner of JQ Catering Services, Cardiff and Andreas Leisinger, senior sous chef at St Georges Hotel, Llandudno. The second heat, at 2pm, brings together Benjamin, Jack Davison, sous chef at Deganwy Quay Hotel and Spa, Nicholas Collins, director of Grate Catering and The Pickled Radish at The Laleston Inn and Nathan Davies, head chef of the Belle Vue Royal Hotel, Aberystwyth. The chefs will be given three hours to cook a three course meal using their own original menu. The two heat winners and the two highest scoring runners up will go through to the final at the 2016 Welsh International Culinary Championships at Coleg Llandrillo, Rhos-on-Sea, Colwyn Bay on the afternoon of Thursday, February 18, 2016. The winner will automatically go through to the UK semi-finals of the National Chef of the Year contest. James 2The four finalists for the Junior Chef of Wales contest, which will also being held at Welsh International Culinary Championships on Monday, February 15, have also been selected. Competing for the title will be James Corbett, commis chef at Llangoed Hall, Llyswen, Benjamin Mitchell, commis chef at The Grove, Narberth, Joshua Hughes, chef de partie at Deganwy Quay Hotel, and Aaron Griffith, chef de partie at St Georges Hotel, Llandudno. The winner will qualify for the UK semi-finals of the National Junior Chef of the Year contest. It will be the first time that both the National Chef of Wales and Junior Chef of Wales contests have been held in the same year, having traditionally been held on alternate years. The judges are chairman John Retallick, Culinary Association of Wales (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 and Eric Bruce, chef patron at Restaurant Severn, Ironbridge. CAW president Arwyn Watkins said he was delighted to see entries from across Wales and also from Welsh chefs working outside the country, who welcomed the opportunity to compete in the prestigious National Chef of Wales contest. He said: “The scene is set for two very keenly contested semi-finals, as eight talented chefs compete to appear at the premier showcase of culinary skills in Wales.” Wales’ deputy minister for farming and food Rebecca Evans will present the awards at the championships presentation dinner at Llandudno Bay Hotel, Llandudno on the evening of 18 February.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 10th November 2015

National Chef of Wales semi-finalists announced