An ambitious young chef who featured Welsh Lamb on the menu of a celebratory dinner has scooped up a prestigious award in Belgium.
Julie Baekelandt, the new Chaudfontaine Lady Chef of the Year 2016 prepared a three course meal for a function where she was presented with the acclaimed title.
The main course for the dinner to mark her success consisted of PGI Welsh Lamb shoulder served with aubergine caviar, yoghurt, cucumber, mint, breaded aubergine and candied potato.
The title is awarded each year to a female head chef who stands for quality and creativity in the kitchen. Welsh Lamb was a perfect fit with the theme of this year’s culinary challenge which was ‘Contrast: classic products in a modern kitchen’.
After the dinner, the newly crowned Lady Chef, who has her own TV cooking show, said: “Welsh Lamb is very tasty and very versatile to cook with. This is what I wanted to show in my recipe.
“Winning the title is ultimate acknowledgement for a female chef in Belgium. It will be an exciting year. I will have the opportunity to discover premium products. It will be a busy year, but you won’t hear me complaining! I have been hoping to get the award for four years now: I simply cannot wait to start my year as Lady Chef!”
On congratulating the winner, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales’ (HCC) Export Development Executive, Deanna Leven said: “Chef Julie received a high volume of votes to win the Lady Chef title and continue the trend of a generation of young and upcoming talented chefs in Belgium who are enthusiastic about working with premium products, including Welsh Lamb.
“We look forward to working with her over the coming year as she becomes a ‘Lambassador’ for Welsh Lamb in Belgium.”
PGI Welsh Lamb was one of the sponsors of the competition which was attended by a number of leading journalists, food writers and critics. Voting was by the public and a professional jury of culinary journalists.