Chefs representing the Culinary Association of Wales are hungry for success as they prepare to put their cooking skills to the test against other national teams at Hotelympia in London in March.
Culinary Team Wales will be competing in La Parade des Chefs at the International Salon Culinaire which runs from March 5-8. The competition is an important warm up event for the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg in November.
Wales will be up against the national teams from England and Scotland who will be given six hours to prepare a three-course meal for 110 people, replicating the Culinary World Cup rules.
Also competing in a different category of the contest will be the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Combined Services Culinary Art team, Sodexo, Compass and the Craft Guild of Chefs who will have five hours to produce a three-course meal for 100.
Set to make their debut for Wales are Sergio Cinotti, who runs the award-winning Gemelli Restaurant in Newport and Alys Evans from The Vale Resort, Hensol who has secured a place in the UK WorldSkills squad and was named Wales’ VQ Learner of the Year (Intermediate) this summer.
Wales, who will be competing on March 8, will be captained by Danny Burke, co-owner of Olive Tree Catering, Hawarden and his teammates are Hefin Roberts, of Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, near Conwy, Jason Hughes of Chateau Rhianfa, Menai Bridge, Toby Beevers of PSL Purchasing Systems and Brian Henry, Celtic Manor Resort.
The team will be cooking a starter of scallops, with ceviche, compressed cucumber and chicken skin granola and a main course of Welsh venison with a cottage pie, tomato fondue, baby carrots, root vegetable puree, salted turnip and rosemary jus. Dessert is white chocolate and lemon mousse with Welsh honey, raspberry sorbet, raspberry gel and mint.
“The last time Wales competed in the La Parade des Chefs was about 10 years ago and we would love to win the competition,” said Beevers, a director of the Culinary Association of Wales. “We are training hard for the competition, having already held four practises with another two planned before March.”
A Team Wales approach to the International Salon Culinaire will see the Welsh Government support a food and drink showcase at Hotelympia, showcasing Welsh producers.
The Culinary Team Wales is sponsored by the Welsh Government’s Food and Drink Wales, Cambrian Training Company, Grwp Llandrillo Menai, Castell Howell Foods, Hybi Cyg Cymru, Harlech Foods and Goodfellows.