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Record Entries as Wales’ Biggest Ever Hospitality Skills Event is Now Open

Record entries have been attracted for the Welsh International Culinary Championships (WICC) which opened today (January 22) at the International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales), Newport.

Hundreds of chefs, butchers and front of house workers will be competing over three days at the biggest hospitality skills event Wales has ever seen as ICC Wales becomes Wales’ Hospitality Hub from January 22-24.

Showpiece competitions are the National and Junior Chef of Wales Finals, the Welsh Craft Butcher of the Year and Green Chef Challenge. Other competitions include the Cygnet Gin Cocktail Mixology class and the Wales heats of the Major Chefs Challenge and the 2024 Riso Gallo Young Risotto Chef Challenge.

The National Chef of Wales and Welsh Craft Butcher of the Year finals are being held tomorrow followed by the Junior Chef of Wales final on Tuesday and Green Chef Challenge on Wednesday.

In addition to individual class prizes, there will be coveted awards for the college awarded the highest number of points over the three days, the best junior learner and best chef in the open live classes..

Skills Competition Wales aims to raise the profile of skills in Wales and is part of the Welsh Government funded Inspiring Skills Excellence Programme. Students, trainees and apprentices are given a chance to challenge, benchmark and raise their skills by taking part in competitions across a range of sectors.

CAW president Arwyn Watkins, OBE, says the WICC will be the launchpad for the road to Wales hosting the Worldchefs Congress and Expo 2026 at ICC Wales.

“The WICC will become an annual hospitality hub open to the public and hospitality trade, showcasing Welsh food, drink, hospitality and skills over three days and providing a real opportunity to have a conversation with the industry,” he said.