February 21, 2018
Wales’ bid to host the Worldchefs Congress in
2024 is being supported by the organisation’s continental director for Northern
Dragan Unic, from Sweden, said he hoped Wales’
bid would be successful and praised the Culinary Association of Wales (CAW) for
hosting a very successful European chefs’ conference at the Celtic Manor
Resort, Newport last May.
The CAW is keen to bring the global event to
the new International Convention Centre at the Celtic Manor Resort. They are
both working with the Welsh Government on the ‘Team Wales’ bid.
“I think Wales is on the right track to become
a culinary destination,” said Mr Unic. “After years of not being on the world
culinary map, people are starting to talk about Wales.
“We had our European chefs’ conference here
last year and I do my best to push for Wales in any way I can. It will be great
if Wales can hold the Worldchefs Congress because it will be in my region.
“Member countries like to attend a well
organised congress and we know that Wales can deliver. There was a real buzz
following the European conference in Wales, especially from countries that were
unable to attend.
“I love Wales and hope to return with my wife
to see more of the country.”
Mr Unic was in Wales as a guest of the CAW to
judge at the Welsh International Culinary Championships at Gr?p Llandrillo Menai’s, Rhos-on-Sea
campus last week.
He presented CAW and president Arwyn Watkins
with the Worldchefs Continental Director’s Culinary Friendship Award.
It was his third visit to the event and he was
impressed by the progress made by competitors.
“I have seen the amazing progress made by
students over the past three years,” he said. “The thing I enjoy the most is
seeing the progression of young people.
“I am particularly impressed by the progress
made by the Junior Culinary Team Wales. They have moved to a totally different
level since last year and I think the team has great potential.”
At last year’s WICC, he picked out a young
chef, Sarah Davies, for special mention and invited her to travel to Sweden to
gain experience working in his business.
Although she had been unable to take up the
invitation, Mr Unic was pleased to see that she was now a member of Junior
Culinary Team Wales. “The development that she has made in one year is totally
amazing,” he added. “She’s a fantastic young chef.”
Two years ago, he selected Faye Norris as the
stand out competitor and she has just returned to England to work at the Moat
House, Stafford after spending eight months working in his business.
This year’s WICC attracted 370 competitors over
four days and brought together all of Wales culinary competitions in the same
venue for the first time.
In addition to the National and Junior Chef of
Wales finals, the Battle for the Dragon contest and Cake Cymru, the culinary
finals of Skills Competition Wales and the Major International Regional
Competition were held.
“It totally makes sense that all the
competitions are held at the WICC because it exposes the competitors to
networking opportunities and enables them to engage with employers,” said CAW
president Arwyn Watkins. “They are showcasing their skills like they would in a
The main WICC awards were presented at a dinner
held at the Llandudno Bay Hotel, Llandudno, which was attended by Lesley
Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs.
The winners were: The
results were: Junior Chef of Wales, Arron Tye, Carden Park, Chester. National
Chef of Wales, Tom Westerland, Lucknam Park, Colerne, Chippenham. Battle fort
the Dragon, England national junior team. Best static display, Hefin Roberts,
executive chef at Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, near Conwy. Best in show live
classes, Chloe Lloyd Hughes, North Warwickshire and Hinckley College. Best team
live, Loughborough College. Ecolab award for best overall hygiene excellence,
Sophie Atter, Coventry College. Eric Bruce Award for best junior, Ellie Butler,
Shrewsbury College. Best college, North Warwickshire and Hinckley College.
The WICC 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 Meat Promotion
Wales/Hybu Cig Cymru, Castell Howell, Major International, Harlech Foods, H. N.
Nuttall, Churchill, MCS Tech, Rollergrill, Koppertcress and Dick Knives.
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.
Junior Chef of Wales winner Arron Tye with Dragan Unic.
Loughborough College, winners of the best team live award.
North Warwickshire and Hinckley College receive the award for best college from Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs.
Chloe Lloyd Hughes from North Warwickshire and Hinckley College with the award for best in show in the live classes.
Ellie Butler from Shrewsbury College with the Eric Bruce Award for best junior.
Dragan Unic (left) with fellow judges of the Junior Chef of Wales final Nick Davies, Michael Evans, Danny Burke and Colin Gray.