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England win Battle for the Dragon cook-off in Wales

February 16, 2018

With Welsh rugby fans still smarting from their country’s controversial Six Nations Championship rugby defeat to England at Twickenham last Saturday, there was more disappointment for Wales yesterday (Thursday).

The two countries clashed again, this time as talented young chefs competed in the Battle for the Dragon cook-off at the Welsh International Culinary Championships at Coleg Llandrillo Menai, Rhos-on-Sea.

Again England came out on top with the country’s junior national culinary team taking the Dragon Trophy home after two days of competition against the Junior Culinary Team Wales.

The two teams were challenged to prepare and cook a three course meal for 90 people. A panel of international chef judges kept a close watch on their work in the kitchen before tasting the dishes and delivering their verdict.

The England team, managed by Matthew Shropshall and captained by Edward Marsh, comprised Jack Gameson, Greg Evans, Nathan Lane and Angelina Adamo.

They served up a starter of farmed pan-roasted halibut, langoustine croquette, radish and cucumber salad, Romanesco and langoustine veloute. Main course was venison loin, potato gateaux, fennel puree, cabbage, sweetbread boudin, sautéed wild mushrooms and port sauce. Dessert was dark chocolate and orange mousse, citrus sponge and iced blood orange.

Since competing in the Culinary Olympics in 2016, where they won two silver medals, Wales have been rebuilding their junior team to replace three members who are now too old to compete as juniors.

Team manager Michael Evans, a lecturer at Coleg Llandrillo Menai, where the team is based, called up Harry Paynter-Roberts, demi chef de parti at Manchester House, Manchester and Catrin Thomas, demi chef de partie at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport.

The new look team was captained by new Junior Chef of Wales contest winner Aarron Tye, chef de partie at Carden Park, Chester and his other teammates were James Whalley, Commis chef at Tyddyn Llan, Corwen and Sarah Davies, chef de partie Hayloft Restaurant, Bodnant.

Wales cooked a menu that opens with seared scallop, langoustine thermidor, granola, cucumber, piccalilli and seafood espuma. Main course is pork tenderloin wrapped prosciutto, pig’s head bon bon, honey roasted carrots, carrot puree, sprout leaves, apples and parsnip with pork jus. To round off the meal, the dessert is Bramley apple, vanilla ice cream and red wine.

The WICC are organised by the Culinary Association of Wales and the main sponsor is Food and Drink Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government’s department representing the food and drink industry.

Other sponsors include Meat Promotion Wales/Hybu Cig Cymru, Castell Howell, Major International, Harlech Foods, H. N. Nuttall, Churchill, MCS Tech, Rollergrill, Koppertcress and Dick Knives.

The victorious England team with Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs, Dragan Unic, Worldchefs continental director for Northern Europe and Lee Cork, one of the judges.

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The victorious England team.

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Junior Culinary Team Wales with Dragan Unic, Worldchefs continental director for Northern Europe.

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The English team in action in the competition.

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Junior Culinary Team Wales captain Arron Tye and Sarah Davies in action.

For more information, please contact Arwyn Watkins, Culinary Association of Wales president, on Tel: 01938 555893 or Duncan Foulkes, publicity officer, on Tel: 01686 650818.

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