Fiery contests for culinary crowns were bravely fought by chefs who chose to cook with products that would not let them down in a battle, Welsh Lamb and Beef.
Winners at the Welsh International Culinary Championship last week put their faith in two of our country’s reputable red meats and presented a fine display of culinary craftsmanship to impress a panel of international judges.
Welsh Beef was the centrepiece for the victorious Junior Chef of Wales, Steffan Davies, 22, from Llandybie. The talented young chef, who works at Gidleigh Park, Devon will now go on to represent Wales in the Young National Chef of the Year semi-final organised by The Master Chefs of Great Britain.
Steffan’s main course consisted of Welsh Beef fillet, shallot, celeriac, bone marrow crumb and Madeira. He said: “I chose to use Welsh Beef as I knew it would have been to a sublime standard and bring the quality of meat needed for the dish in a competition like this.
“It’s an unbelievable way to end a long year after competing with the Junior Culinary Team at the Olympics and the Battle for the Dragon. I’m so proud to be representing my country and going on to the Young National Chef of the Year.”
Also on fire were the visiting Italian chefs who were the champions in the annual Battle for the Dragon contest. Welsh Lamb loin was the stand-out ingredient of their main course, fused with Italian influences to create a winning combination. The lamb was served with Mediterranean herbs, beer braised pork cheeks, Parmesan flan, apple confit, tangerine juice and lamb stock reduction.
Ahead of the competition, Lorenzo Alessio, a member of the Italian team said: “In Italy, there are many traditional dishes with lamb. But Welsh Lamb is different, it tastes natural, we love the flavour!”
Each team member returned to Italy with a goody-bag of Welsh Lamb leaflets and recipes to inspire their menus and kitchen counterparts in top quality restaurants back home.
Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) was a proud sponsor of the competition which was arranged by the Culinary Association of Wales and held at Coleg Llandrillo, Rhos-on-Sea last week.
HCC’s Siwan Jones, Communications Executive said: “We were pleased to support the Welsh International Culinary Championships again this year, and even more so when two of the main competition winners served Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef to the delighted diners, and judges of course.
“In Wales we produce exceptional red meat which we know we can trust. The Culinary Championships is a great platform to showcase our produce and prove that it really is classed as award winning! The competition is also invaluable in fostering a generation of passionate young chefs who can cook to a remarkable standard.”