Finalists have been announced for the 2020 National and Junior Chef of Wales competitions, with 13 talented chefs set to put their skills to the test to compete for the prestigious culinary honours.
The competitions provide the perfect stage for chefs, who must be of Welsh descent or work or study in Wales, to showcase their skills in front of a panel of top judges. The finalists were chosen by the judges from their entries, which included their own original menu for a three course meal for four.
Both finals and the awards dinner will be held at Cardiff and Vale College City Campus, Cardiff, for the first time, on March 30. The Junior Chef of Wales final, which will be held at 10am, will be followed by the National Chef of Wales final at 2pm and the winners will be announced at the awards dinner in the evening in the college’s Classroom Restaurant.
The National Chef of Wales finalists are: Wayne Barnard, 37, The Ivy, Cardiff; former Junior Chef of Wales winner Andrew Tabberner, 27, Gaerwen Arms, Gaerwen, Anglesey; Joshua Hughes, 24, Signatures Restaurant, Aberconwy; Cyril Gabriel, 25, Carden Park, near Chester; last year’s finalist Sam Griffiths, 25, The Chester Grosvenor, Chester and former Culinary Team Wales member David Kelman, 44, Cowley Manor Hotel, Cowley, Cheltenham
The chefs had to submit a menu with a starter suitable for vegans, a main course using two different cuts of Welsh Beef and a dessert including chocolate as the main ingredient.
Awaiting the winner will be £1,000, a study tour hosted by Koppert Cress in the Netherlands, an engraved set of cook’s knives made by Friedr Dick and £250 worth of personally selected tableware products from Churchill.
The Junior Chef of Wales finalists are: Ieuan Davies, 23, The Manor House, Castle Combe, Chippenham; Dalton Weir, 20, Home Cookin, Llandudno; Thomas Herbert, 22, Lucknam Park Hotel, Colerne, Chippenham; Lucy Alchin, 21, Cleverchefs, Cardiff; Thomas Martin, 23, freelance chef, South Wales; Harry Osbourne, 21, Deganwy Quay, Conwy and Oliver Thompson, 22, The Coffee Bean, Gaerwen.
Martin and Thompson are previous finalists.
In their entry, the junior chefs had to submit a three-course menu including a starter suitable for vegans, a main course using Welsh Lamb and a dessert including Welsh honey.
The winner will secure an all-expenses-paid visit with the Culinary Association of Wales (CAW) to the World Chefs Congress 2020 in St Petersburg, Russia, where he or she will be part of the Worldchefs Young Chefs Club.
In addition, he or she will be invited to a study tour hosted by Koppert Cress in the Netherlands, receive a set of engraved Friedr Dick Knives, £100 worth of Churchill tableware and be seeded through to the semi-finals of the Young National Chef of the Year contest organised by the Craft Guild of Chefs.
It’s the first time for many years that the competitions have been held separately from the Welsh International Culinary Championships, which are normally held in February. However, due to a clash with the Culinary Olympics next February, the CAW has opted to make changes.
Arwyn Watkins, CAW president, explained: “We think it’s important that the National and Junior Chef of Wales finals become a standalone event rather being a part of the Welsh International Culinary Championships.
“Chefs who have qualified for the finals deserve the kudos of having their own day and platform to showcase their skills. We are delighted with the quality of the entries and level of interest befitting the premier competitions for Welsh chefs.”