The Welsh chefs prepare for the Culinary World Cup
Welsh chefs, who were prevented from cooking in a prestigious competition in the Far East due to the Icelandic volcanic eruption in April, are hoping to produce a few fireworks of their own in the Culinary World Cup in November.
The Welsh National Culinary Team is keen to bounce back from the disappointment of missing the FHA Culinary Challenge in Singapore by winning gold medals in Luxembourg.
Team manager Graham Tinsley, co-owner of The Castle Hotel, Conwy, is confident his chefs have what it takes to strike gold for the third time at the Culinary World Cup.
"It has been such a long time since we competed and the lads were champing at the bit to go to Singapore," said Mr Tinsley. "We feel the best organised that we have been for years because we have been on stand-by for eight months.
"We have tweaked some of the dishes that we h developed for Singapore and I think they are all stunning, packed with flavour. We are using duck from Madgetts Farm in Chepstow in the main course, which is fantastic.
"The ducks are a cross between a Aylesbury and Peking duck, which makes them a larger bird with less fat. Duck is a wonderful ala carte dish but because we are dealing with individual portions, which must be identical, we have got to be precise with our cooking.
"Luxembourg has always been very kind to us in the past and we have won gold medals there twice before. This is the only major competition with an evening service for the hot kitchen, which we like. We will be going there feeling confident in our dishes."
The chefs will cook the complete menu for the first time on Monday, September 27, when guests at the team's annual golf day at Conwy Golf Club will have the privilege of sampling the dishes.
The team selected for the Culinary World Cup shows three debutants - Brian Henry, executive chef at the Crown Plaza, St James, London, Gerwyn Williams, sous chef at the Bridge Hotel, St Asaph and Frank Dace, a young chef who works with senior member Toby Beevers, executive chef at Chester University.
The other team members are captain Wayne Roberts, executive chef at Portmeirion Hotel, Nick Davies, chef director of Cambrian Training Company, Welshpool, David Kelman, executive chef at Wick Hill House Hotel, Stow on the Wold, Sally Owens, lecturer at Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, Rhos on Sea, Gennaro Adaggio, head chef at La Dolce Vita, Shrewsbury who lives in Welshpool, Sue Leacy, head chef at The Quay Hotel and Spa, Deganwy, Hefin Roberts, head chef at Ye Olde Bull's Head, Beaumaris, Chris Owen, chef at Castle Hotel, Conwy, Mark Jones, chef at Henbury Hall, Macclesfield and Kevin Williams, head chef at Dolserau Hall Country Hotel, Dolgellau.
The chefs, who travel to Luxembourg in a convoy of two people carriers and a lorry, are keeping their fingers crossed for an uneventful journey after their Singapore experience.