Five young Welsh chefs will be putting their culinary skills to the test in the Junior Chef of Wales final this afternoon.
The contest is the curtain raiser for this year’s Welsh International Culinary Championships (WICC) at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s, Rhos-on-Sea campus, which end with a presentation dinner on Thursday night.
Seeking to become Wales’ top junior chef are finalists: Harry Paynter-Roberts, 20, Manchester House Restaurant, Manchester; Aarron Tye, 22, Carden Park Hotel, Chester; Oliver Thompson, 19, The Bull, Beaumaris; Luke Jordan, 20, who works at Slaughters Manor House, Cheltenham and Martin Thomas, 21, Marine Parade, Cardiff.
The finalists will have three hours to cook a three-course menu for four people using Welsh ingredients wherever possible.
Paynter-Roberts is looking to go one better this time after being a finalist last year. It promises to be a busy week for Tye and him, as they are both members of the Junior Team Wales who will be taking on England in the Battle for the Dragon contest on Wednesday.
The Junior Chef of Wales winner, who will not be announced until the presentation dinner on Thursday night, will automatically qualify for the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Young National Chef of the Year contest semi-final. He will also receive a study tour with Koppert Cress and receive a set of engraved knives from Friedr Dick.
The four-day WICC brings together all the nation’s culinary competitions in one venue for the first time. In addition to the National and Junior Chef of Wales finals and the Battle for the Dragon contest, there will be the culinary finals of Skills Competition Wales and the Major International Regional Competition.
The growing popularity of baking, sugarcraft and cake decorating is reflected in the Cake Cymru show, which opens on Tuesday.
The Battle for the Dragon contest begins on Wednesday, with the Junior Culinary Team Wales competing against England’s junior team. Wales are first into the kitchen followed by England on Thursday, with both teams challenged to prepare and cook a three-course meal for 90 paying guests in three hours.
The Skills Competition Wales culinary finals and the Major International Regional Competition run from Monday to Wednesday alongside a wide range of WICC competitions for chefs and front of house staff.
The event concludes on Thursday with the prestigious National Chef of Wales final, which sees eight chefs compete in morning and afternoon heats.