A pioneering young Welsh chef leaves tomorrow (Saturday) for the South of France to represent Great Britain in the International Escoffier Challenge Grand Final.
Dion Jones, 24, from Valley, Anglesey, is the first Welsh chef ever to compete in the International final of the world’s oldest culinary competition, after becoming UK champion last November.
Jones is the senior chef de partie at Carden Park Country Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa near Chester and a member of the Welsh National Culinary Team, which will be competing in the Culinary Olympics in Germany in October.
He will fly out to Paris tomorrow with his mentor Graham Tinsley, executive chef at Carden Park and manager of the Welsh National Culinary Team, before hiring a car to drive to Avignon to compete against the best chefs in Europe on Monday. The prestigious competition is organised by Association Culinaire Française, which promotes French culinary arts oversees.
“It’s a great opportunity to compete in Europe and to be able to travel and see what other chefs are doing,” said Jones, whose ambition is to work in a Michelin star kitchen.
In the International final, he will serve up a compulsory dish of roasted shoulder of lamb provencale with stuffed artichokes cooked and presented in classical style. In addition, he will cook a pressed terrine of vegetables with a fennel biscuit and poached lamb fillet with lamb consomme.
Mr Tinsley said: “We have run through the dishes a couple of times and they are looking very good, which has given a positive feeling about the final.
“This competition is run by the oldest culinary organisation in the world and to get through to the international final is a huge achievement. It’s completely new territory because I think Dion is the first Welsh chef to reach the final. He’s a very talented young chef and deserves his opportunity.”
Dion Jones with his mentor, Graham Tinsley.
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