The globetrotting Welsh National Culinary Team has won gold medals at a major new international gastronomic contest in the Middle East.
Wales was one of only 12 national teams invited to compete in the Dubai World Hospitality Championship, which ended with a presentation ceremony in the dessert today (Tuesday).
The talented Welsh chefs, who were competing against the world’s best teams at the high profile event, finished fourth overall, just three points behind third placed Australia. Singapore won the competition with America second.
Had one of the team’s four chocolate and sugarcraft showpieces not been damaged en-route to the competition, Wales could have clinched third place. The fragile showpiece, which was being supervised by two chefs in the back of a lorry, disintegrated when the vehicle went over a speed bump.
Team manager Graham Tinsley, executive chef at De Vere Carden Park near Chester and director of the Castle Hotel, Conwy, was delighted by the result, which saw the Welsh chefs beat the likes of Germany and Canada.
“It has been really hard competition, but a fantastic result for Wales when you consider the strength of the other countries we were competing against,” she said. “Everything is down to taste in this competition and the Welsh chefs were rewarded for their hard work. The hospitality has been brilliant.”
The Welsh chefs each received a gold cooking pot with a medal made from three ounces of pure gold inside.
The team was captained for the first time by Sally Owens, a lecturer at Coleg Llandrillo, Rhos on Sea and Barry-born Lee Jeynes, now the executive chef at the RACV Noosa Resort in Queensland, Australia, jetted in for the competition
They were joined by Danny Burke, owner Shared Olive, Hawarden, near Chester, Gennaro Adaggio, head chef at La Dolce Vita, Shrewsbury, Harri Williams, of the Ellenborough Park Hotel, Cheltenham, Welsh Junior Chef of Wales champion Chris Tull from the Castle Hotel, Conwy and Etienne Lasalle from De Vere Carden Park near Chester.
Four teams per day over three days each created an international themed edible buffet for 54 people, which included one hot dish, a selection of other food items and four showpieces made from chocolate, bread, savoury and ingredients of the chefs’ choice.
At previous international competitions, the Welsh chefs have presented a buffet table with only a few edible items. This time, all the food items, including carved fruit and vegetables, had to be edible and halal.
Everything was laid on by the competition organisers, including the transport, accommodation, food, equipment and a kitchen at the famous Meydan Horse Racing Stadium.
The team is sponsored by the Welsh Government, Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales), C&C Catering Equipment Ltd, Brakes, Unilever Food Solutions UK, Villeroy and Boch and Friedr. Dick, Germany.
Posing for a fun photograph before leaving for Dubai are Welsh National Culinary Team members (from left) captain Sally Owens, Etienne Lasalle, manager Graham Tinsley, Chris Tull and Harri Williams, Danny Burke and Gennaro Adaggio.
For more information please contact Graham Tinsley, Welsh National Culinary Team manager, on 07765 404950 or Duncan Foulkes, public relations consultant, on 01686 650818.