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Culinary Association of Wales

Home Nations chefs to clash at Battle for the Dragon contest in October

September 24, 2019

The national culinary teams of Wales, England and Scotland will lock horns at the Battle for the Dragon contest in North Wales next month

The annual contest, which is traditionally held at the Welsh International Culinary Championships, has been brought forward to October 29-31 at Coleg Llandrillo Menai, Rhos-on-Sea because of a clash with the Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart in February next year.

With all three teams set to compete at the Culinary Olympics, there will be a lot at stake in terms of national pride, fine tuning their dishes and teamwork.

The Battle for the Dragon contest will see the teams compete in a hot kitchen, each producing 90 covers for evening service on separate days.

Fine dining fans will get a chance to have front row seats and sample the dishes served up by the international chefs by booking their place at one or all three of the evening dinners, which cost £26 each. Tickets may be booked with Vicky Watkins at the CAW  on office@walesculinaryassociation.com .

Then, again on separate days, each team will produce a chefs’ table of edible food, which is a new element introduced for the Culinary Olympics to replace a cold buffet table of mostly inedible food.

Medals will be awarded for both elements of the competition at the Culinary Olympics and the combined points will decide where they finish in the world rankings.

Culinary Team Wales is preparing for the contest by holding a series of dinners where the chefs can perfect their dishes. Meeting twice a week at their training base in Welshpool, manager Nick Davies is delighted by the progress being made by chefs in the Welsh squad, which is captained by Alun Davies, an RAF chef.

New faces include Dylan Wyn Owen, executive chef at Manchester City Football Club, Rhys Williams, from the RAF in Lincolnshire and pastry chef Will Richards from Cambrian Training.

Other squad members are Sergio Cinotti from Gemelli Restaurant, Newport, freelance chef Matthew Smith and Mark Robertson from Coleg Cambria, Wrexham.

Another squad member is Jay Humphris from Coleg y Cymoedd, Ystrad Mynach, who is making the centrepiece for the team’s culinary art display at the Culinary World Cup which will be based on The Great Outdoors, the marketing theme chosen by Visit Wales in 2020.

“This is the perfect opportunity for the three teams to compete to Worldchefs standards and receive feedback on their dishes from very experienced judges,” said Culinary Association of Wales (CAW) president Arwyn Watkins, OBE. 

“The evening service in the hot kitchen and the new chefs’ table are designed to replicate the competitions at the Culinary Olympics next February.”

The Battle for the Dragon contest is organised by the CAW and 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, Koppertcress, Dick Knives, Roller Grill, MCS Technical Products and Major.

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A member of Culinary Team Wales preparing dishes in a previous Battle for the Dragon contest.

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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