Arron chosen to represent Wales in National Junior Chef of Year contest

Culinary Association of Wales

Ffion’s dessert wows jury as Wales win Culinary Olympics silver medals 

October 23, 2016

A young Mid Wales pastry chef was the talk of the judges on the first day of the Culinary Olympics in Germany on Saturday after helping the Welsh team to a silver medal in the contest for junior teams.

Ffion Lewis, the pastry chef at the Nag’s Head, Garthmyl, attracted special praise from the jury as Wales came agonisingly close to winning a gold medal in Erfurt on Saturday. 

Her dessert, Granny Smith apple frangipane and compote, spiced vanilla syrup, poached Golden Delicious apple, sorbet and mousse and apple and blackberry coulis, was said the judges to be the star of the show as the judges, who were casting a critical eye on waste, were impressed that she managed to use every bit of apple.

“Ffion’s dessert was the talk of the jury on the first day of the competition,” said Arwyn Watkins. Culinary Association of Wales president. “She was complimented by the judges who said the dessert was literally the star of the show.

“I was disappointed that the junior team didn’t win a gold medal because the feedback from the jury was all positive. However, to achieve a silver medal at the Culinary Olympics is a fantastic achievement by the team when you consider that no gold medals were awarded in the hot kitchen on the opening day.

“Wales are up amongst the best in the world and it’s all to play for when they compete in the cold edible buffet and live theatre today (Monday).” 

The other team members are: captain Jack Davison, Deganwy Quay Hotel and Spa, Deganwy, Conwy, Joe Jones, Carden Park Hotel, near Chester, Steffan Davies, Gidleigh Park, Exeter, Sion Roberts, Pollen Street Social, London and Harry Paynter-Roberts, Castle Hotel, Conwy and Arron Tye, Shared Olive, Hawarden. The team is coached by Michael Evans, a lecturer at Gr?p Llandrillo Menai, Rhos on Sea.

The Wales senior team, which includes a liberal sprinkling of newcomers to international competition, collected a bronze medal in the hot kitchen element of their contest and complete their campaign by producing an artistic cold buffet display today.

“To win a bronze medal at the Culinary Olympics as a new team is a good achievement and gives us a strong foundation to build on,” said Mr Watkins. “The feedback from the judges was that we had some strong dishes that need to be developed further.”

Thirty-two national senior teams and 20 junior teams from around the world are cooking over four days of intense competition. The Culinary Olympics are organised every four years and endorsed by the World Associations of Chefs’ Societies, or Worldchefs, of which the CAW is a member.

The Wales senior team is captained by Danny Burke, 39, co-owner of Shared Olive Restaurant and Olive Tree Catering, Hawarden. He is joined by Karl Jones Hughes and Simon Crockford from the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Ryan Jones from Dawn Meats, Cross Hands, Wales, Jason Hughes from Chateau Rhianfa, Menai Bridge and Michael Ramsden from Cambrian Training Company, Welshpool. CAW team manager is Peter Fuchs, culinary director at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.

The senior team’s hot kitchen menu comprised a starter of butter poached langoustine, pan fried scallop with textures of cauliflower and granola. Main course was: herb and potato crusted beef fillet, braised and glazed beef cheek, truffle and Parmesan potato, onion puree and confit carrot. Dessert is chocolate marquise with coconut, ganache with raspberry and biscuits, raspberry parfait on coconut mallow, praline crusted roasted pineapple and pineapple gel.

In addition to Ffion’s dessert, the junior team’s hot kitchen menu included a starter of salmon and crab with beetroot, horseradish cream, pea shoots and crispy salad. Main course was roasted Welsh fillet, braised beef cheek ravioli, baby gem lettuce, Chantaney carrots, celeriac and Madeira jus.

The Culinary Olympics is an important showcase not only for talented chefs but also for Welsh food and drink products. An accompanying Food and Drink Wales Showcase is being held in the Worldchefs Village to highlight the quality and innovation of Welsh products. A range of chilled and ambient products will be displayed and a presenter will speak to chefs about their provenance.

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