First and second prize awarded to Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef!

HCC’s warmest congratulations go out to an award winning young chef, Mari Smith who is the proud winner of a highly competitive cookery contest at a Dolgellau school.

Mari of Ysgol y Gader, Dolgellau was the toast of year eight, winning a cookery competition assisted by Hybu Cig Cymru-Meat Promotion Wales’ (HCC) own consumer expert Elwen Roberts.

Mari’s Welsh Lamb with Leek Sauce won the winner’s apron, triumphing against 61 other determined rivals with a two course feast showcasing a main course of Welsh Lamb or Beef.

Runner-up was Damien Slaney with his Welsh Beef in sauce served in a pizza bread basket.

The competition was the brainchild of the secondary school’s food technology teacher, Eleri Jones: “The competition was inspired by the BBC’s Junior Bakeoff, our pupils are huge fans! It has been an excellent experience and has really inspired them to experiment in the kitchen with locally produced foods, including Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef.

“We managed to whittle the 60 entries down to just nine for the final. It was no mean feat as the standard was tremendous and matched the enthusiasm and application of all the pupils.”

HCC supported the competition by providing HCC aprons and goody bags and also suggested a number of recipes that could be used for the final from HCC’s consumer website -

Elwen Roberts, HCC’s Consumer Executive said: “It is a great example for other schools in Wales to follow. The necessity of children learning food and kitchen skills has been further recognised by the education authority, the Welsh Joint Education Committee, who organised a course I recently attended on GCSE Food and Nutrition, ‘Preparing to teach’.

“The course was an introduction for food teachers to the new specification and materials for the new GCSE Food & Nutrition examination which will be taught from September 2016.

“Red meat can play an important part in a healthy balanced diet and teaching young people to cook with red meat will equip them with valuable skills for the future, including where to source ingredients and how to prepare a balanced and nutritious meal on a tight budget as they leave home for work or further education.”