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Culinary Association of Wales

Austrians win Battle for the Dragon cook-off in Wales 

March 2, 2019

A team of southern Austria’s leading chefs have stunned the host country to win the Battle for the Dragon cook-off on Thursday at the Welsh International Culinary Championships held at Coleg Llandrillo Menai, Rhos-on-Sea.

Despite this being the first time that the team has competed together, the Chefs Club Carinthia team cooked up a stunning three-course meal for 70 people, winning a competition that also featured Welsh teams from Welshpool-based Cambrian Training Company and the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, who shared the silver medal.

“We have had a very talented team of chefs competing here,” said Rainer Werchner, Team Manager and also Vice President of the Chefs Club Carinthia. “They have not worked together before so it was interesting to see how they operated as a team. Of course, I am delighted with how it has gone. This is a very well organised event and perfect for these chefs to see how such competitions work.

“Winning here in Wales is important for us as we look to build and prepare for future international competitions. We will keep working hard in readiness for when we host our own international competition next month. This is just the start for this team.”

Based in the south of Austria, close to the Italian and Slovenian borders, the Austrians used a ‘Mozart inspired’ menu to woo the judges.

Their starter of pikeperch, Norway lobster, citrus veloute, eggplant, wild broccoli and cavier provided a sumptious opening dish before the main course of Welsh mountain lamb, pumpkin, red cabbage, potato and black salsify. The dessert, called Mozart Inspiration, was a delicious combination of chocolate, nougat, marzipan, apricot sorbet and pistachios.

They impressed the top-class panel of judges enough to finish ahead of the talented team from Cambrian Training Company who stepped in to cook a menu submitted by Belgium, who unfortunately withdrew. Despite the short notice, they performed well in the spotlight to share the silver medal with the Celtic Manor Resort team.

The Battle for the Dragon is one of the highlights of the Welsh International Culinary Championships (WICC), organised by the Culinary Association of Wales, which has welcomed hundreds of chefs from across the UK and beyond this week.

The WICC’s main sponsor is Food and Drink Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government’s department representing the food and drink industry. Other sponsors include Castell Howell, Harlech Foods, Churchill, Koppert Cress, Dick Knives, Roller Grill, MCS Technical Products and Major. 

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The taste of victory! The winners of the Battle for the Dragon – Austria’s Chef Club Carinthia, pictured with Arwyn Watkins, OBE, president of the Culinary Association of Wales.

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Chefs in action from the winning Austrian team. 

For more information, please contact Arwyn Watkins, Culinary Association of Wales president, on Tel: 01938 555893 or David Williams, publicity officer, on Tel: 079 54 106604.

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