Fantastic prizes at stake as hunt to find best chefs in Wales is launched

Fantastic prizes are on offer in competitions to find the best chefs in Wales which have been launched this week. 

Entries are now open for the prestigious National and Junior Chef of the Wales contests, which will be held at the Welsh International Culinary Championships (WICC) from February 22-24, 2022, at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s campus in Rhos-on-Sea. 

At stake in the National Chef of the Wales final is £1,000 for the winner, £500 for the runner-up and £300 for third place. The winner will also receive a set of knives from Friedr Dick and £250 worth of Churchill products. 

The Junior Chef of Wales winner will have a chance of a lifetime to attend the Worldchefs Congress 2022 in Abu Dhabi from May 30 to June 2 with CAW delegates.

He or she will also qualify for the semi-finals of the Young National Chef of the Year contest, organised by the Craft Guild of Chefs and receive support from the Junior Culinary Team Wales, a set of knives from Friedr Dick and £100 of products from Churchill.

Entries for both competitions must be received by January 31, 2022. Entry forms may be downloaded from the Culinary Association of Wales (CAW) website: 

Organised by the CAW, the WICC’s main sponsor is Food and Drink Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government’s department representing the food and drink industry. 

Other sponsors include Castel Howell, Churchill, Major International, Riso Gallo, Dick Knives, MCS Tech Products, Hybu Cig Cymru/ Meat Promotion Wales and Grŵp Llandrillo Menai. 

To enter the National Chef of Wales contest, which will be held on February 22 and 23, chefs must be of Welsh descent or working or studying in Wales. 

Finalists will be selected from the creative menus they submit for a four course meal for 12 people, featuring mostly Welsh ingredients. 

The starter must be vegan, the second course a fish of their own choice, the main course must use two different cuts of Welsh Lamb and the dessert must feature seasonal fruits, ice cream, chocolate and biscuit or tuille.

Chefs will be given five hours to prepare and cook their dishes. 

For the first time at the WICC, invited guests and sponsors will have a chance to taste the finalists’ dishes. Nine dishes from each finalist will be served to guests on both days of the final. 

The Junior Chef of Wales competition, which will be held on February 24, is open to chefs aged from 16 to 23 on January 1, 2022, who must work or study within Wales. 

Finalists will be selected from the menus they submit for a three course meal for four people, including mostly Welsh ingredients. They will be given three hours to prepare and cook a seafood starter or fish appetizer, a main course including one prime cut and one secondary cut of Welsh Beef and a seasonal dessert including chocolate and one hot element. 

Winners of these two showpiece competitions will be announced at a presentation dinner at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s campus in Rhos-on-Sea on Thursday night, February 24. 

Arwyn Watkins, OBE, CAW president, said: “The National and Junior Chef of Wales competitions provide the perfect platform for talented chefs to showcase their skills. 

“Looking through the list of previous winners highlights the quality that is needed to become the best in Wales. We are hoping to maintain these high standards and level of interest befitting the premier competitions for Welsh chefs.”

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