The new National Chef of Wales is 28-year-old Josh Morris, senior sous chef Palé Hall Hotel, Llandderfel, Bala.
The former Junior Chef of Wales finalists, who is originally from Porthcawl, edged out eight rivals from across Wales in a high quality final to win the coveted dragon trophy, presented by Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths.
The presentation at the Welsh International Culinary Championships awards dinner last night (Wednesday) after three days of hospitality and butchery skills competitions at the International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales), Newport, organised by the Culinary Association of Wales (CAW).
“I didn’t expect that at all because the competition was so strong,” said an elated Josh, whose commis chef was Robin Evans, pastry chef at Palé Hall. “It means a lot to me because it puts my name out there a bit more.
“To be honest, I didn’t have the time for a lot of practice which meant that I just went into it blind. Having said that, I was very happy with my dishes.
“I was going to enter the competition for the last two years but I wasn’t ready in 2022 after being out of the kitchen for so long due to the pandemic and then the final clashed with my girlfriend’s birthday last year.”
For winning the competition, Josh has earned an invitation to attend the Worldchefs Congress and Expo, which will be held at ICC Wales in May, 2026. He also received a set of engraved Friedr Dick competition knives and £250 of Churchill products.
Runner-up was Harry Paynter-Roberts, sous chef at Carden Park Hotel and Spa, Chester, who won a silver medal.
“All the chefs did amazingly well in a high standard final,” said Colin Gray, CAW vice president and judging panel chairman. “We should also not forget the commis chefs because they competed as teams of two.”