The cooking equivalent of the Six Nations Rugby Championship kicked off yesterday (Tuesday) in North Wales.
Chefs from the Welsh National Culinary Team have welcomed Celtic cousins from Scotland and Ireland for the Battle for the Dragon contest.
The Battle is one of the showpiece events at the annual Welsh International Culinary Championships at Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, Rhos-on-Sea, which runs until tomorrow (Thursday).
The chefs compete in the kitchen over three days, with each of the three competing nations allocated three hours to produce a mouthwatering three-course meal for 90 people under the supervision of a panel of international judges
The championships are organised by the Welsh Culinary Association and sponsored by the Welsh Assembly Government and Hybu Cig Cymru/ Meat Promotion Wales.
Ireland were first in the kitchen yesterday, when they cooked Welsh Pork in their main course. Their menu comprises a starter of pan flared fillet of brill with buttered leeks, smokey puy lentils, fois gras and pineapple relish with a white wine essence and Dilisk tuille. Main course is roast loin of Welsh suckling pig with prune mousse served with its slow braised belly, honey roasted Chantenay carrots, saute cabbage, apple and horseradish mash, pea puree, buttered mushrooms, star anise glaze and fennel foam. Dessert is sour apple panna cotta served on a Breton biscuit with hazelnut ice cream and a warm blackberry compote.
Wales follows today (Wednesday) with Welsh Lamb as their main course. The menu opens with pressed cod and parsley terrine, creamed shellfish tartlet, poached quails egg with lemon hollandaise, crab and carrot puree, asparagus and marinated cucumber salad.
Main course is roast cannon of Welsh Lamb with creamed Savoy cabbage, butternut squash puree, herbed-coated potato and an offal fritter. Dessert is dark chocolate mousse with a soft passion fruit centre, white chocolate and vanilla sponge with chocolate sauce, mango sorbet and tropical fruit salsa.
Scotland complete proceedings tomorrow with Welsh Beef in their main course. Their starter is hot smoked salmon with Blini and horseradish cream, sauce Gribiche and a terrine of Scottish salmon and a roast sweet corn salsa. Main course is roast fillet of Welsh Beef with a shoulder hotpot, potato and white truffle oil mash, savoy cabbage with pancetta, celeriac and seasonal wild mushrooms on a Madeira sauce. Dessert is warm coconut frangipane tartlet accompanied by a passion fruit mousseline, coconut ice cream and a mango and pineapple compote.
Wales are bidding to win the Dragon Trophy for only the second time in five years. Previous winners are New Zealand, Germany and Sweden
The Welsh team is captained by Wayne Roberts, executive chef at Portmeirion Hotel and includes Nick Davies, a director of Cambrian Training Company, Welshpool, Toby Beevers, executive chef at Chester University, Sally Owens, Coleg Llandrillo Cymru, Gennaro Adaggio, La Dolce Vita, Shrewsbury, Hefin Roberts, Ye Olde Bull's Head, Beaumaris.
Designed to celebrate the nation's culinary skills and rich variety of quality food, the three-day championships are packed with exciting competitions for learner, junior and senior chefs and waiting staff.