Chefs from the Welsh National Culinary Team are this week aiming to succeed where the Welsh rugby team failed - by beating New Zealand.
Whilst the Shane Williams, Ryan Jones and co could not conquer the mighty All Blacks last autumn, the Welsh chefs hope to chalk up victory in the kitchen over their New Zealand counterparts and Croatia in the Battle for the Dragon culinary contest at Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, Rhos-on-Sea, Colwyn Bay, which begins tomorrow (Tuesday).
The contest, organised by the Welsh Culinary Association, is the showpiece event at the Welsh International Culinary Championships, which are open to the public free of charge.
The three countries will do battle in a Restaurant of Nations hot kitchen competition over three days, each being allocated three hours to produce a mouthwatering three-course meal for 90 people under the supervision of a panel of international judges. The winning team will receive the Dragon Trophy on Thursday afternoon.
Wales opens the competition tomorrow followed on Wednesday by Croatia and New Zealand on Thursday. New Zealand's chefs will be cooking Welsh Lamb as their main course, while Wales will be cooking pork and Croatia Welsh Beef.
"It was the luck of the draw that New Zealand were given Welsh Lamb to cook with and I'm really looking forward to seeing their dishes" said Peter Jackson, Welsh Culinary Association chairman. "I am sure they will enjoy cooking with a top quality product.
"It's a great coup for Wales to attract New Zealand because they didn't compete in the Culinary Olympics last October. New Zealand's chefs take their culinary influences from all over the world and they have excellent products to work with.
"Croatia competed at the Culinary Olympics for the first time last year and their cooking has Eastern influences. The Welsh team is expecting a battle and it promises to be a very high calibre competition, maintaining the standards that have been set in the first three years."
The Welsh team is captained by Wayne Roberts, head chef at Portmeirion Hotel, Portmeirion and includes Gary Griffiths from The Quay Hotel and Spa, Deganwy, Erin Deering from Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, David Kelman from Lower Slaughter Manor, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gennaro Adaggio from La Dolce Vita, Shrewsbury and Tom Middleton from Hotel Maes-y-neuadd, Talsarnau, Harlech.
Tickets for the lunches may be booked with Jane Cater, events manager at Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, on Tel: 01492 542 305 (office hours) or e-mail email@example.com. Lunch costs £29.50 per person with a reduction to £26.50 when booking for all three lunches.
The Battle for the Dragon contest, which has been endorsed by the World Association of Chefs' Societies (WACS), was introduced for the first time in 2006. Winners to date have been Germany, Wales and Sweden.
The Welsh International Culinary Championships are sponsored by the Welsh Assembly Government to promote the food and drink industry brand 'True Taste'. Hybu Cig Cymru/ Meat Promotion Wales also jointly sponsor the Battle for the Dragon contest.
The championships, which attract chefs from across the UK, are packed with exciting competitions and are designed to celebrate the nation's culinary skills and food.
For more information about the Battle for the Dragon contest and the Welsh International Culinary Championships visit the Welsh Culinary Association's website at www.welshculinaryassociation.com.
Other sponsors of the Welsh International Culinary Championships are C&C Catering, Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, Clwyd Refrigeration, Welsh National Culinary Team, Dick Knives, Brakes, M & J Seafoods, Ecolab, Nestle Professional, Bwydlyn, Villeroy & Boch, H.N. Nuttall Ltd, iPebble, Llandudno Fruit Renaissance, Flogas, Farmers' Union of Wales, Unilever/Knorrr and Imperial Hotel.