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Junior chefs win a silver medal for Wales at Culinary Olympics

Chefs from the Culinary Association of Wales, including two based in Shropshire, have launched their bid for glory at the prestigious IKA Culinary Olympics in Germany by winning a silver medal.

The Junior Culinary Team Wales, which has an average age of 19, competed in the Restaurant of Nations in Stuttgart yesterday (Saturday) when they impressed the judges with their teamwork and hygiene.

Team manager Michael Kirkham-Evans, a lecturer at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, Rhos-on-Sea, said the judges rated the team’s dessert, developed by coach Danny Burke, from Olive Tree Catering, Runcorn and delivered by pastry chef Alys Evans, as the best of the day.

“The judges were impressed that our three dishes matched the photographs that we had sent them in advance,” said Mr Evans. “The judges were blown away by the dessert which they said was the best of the day. They also commended the team for cooking modern dishes.

“We would have liked a gold medal but to win a high silver was very good, considering two of the chefs – Alice Yeomans and James Jarvis – were only promoted to the team last month.

“The team is elated and both Danny and I are delighted with the way the young chefs worked. It’s one of the best teams I have managed in terms of commitment.”

The junior chefs served up a starter of Pembrokeshire scallop and roe croquette, seabass ceviche, chilled avocado, gin and elderflower cucumber. Main course was dry aged fillet and short rib of Welsh Beef, sourdough crouton, onion puree and Butty Bach jus. Dessert was chocolate black cherry chilled fondant, white chocolate and griottine cherry custard, crème fraiche sorbet, sesame tuille and sour cherry gel.

Next up for the junior team is the second part of the competition – producing a chefs edible buffet – tomorrow when they will be going for gold.

The junior team is captained by Calum Smith, The Lion and Pheasant, Shrewsbury and includes pastry chef Alys Evans, Pobi Bach Bakery, Gilfach Goch, Morgan Read, Brook House Mill, Denbigh, Lara Walker, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Alice Yeomans, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton, Oxford and James Jarvis, Sebastians Restaurant, Oswestry.

The Senior Culinary Team Wales is in action today, presenting their chefs edible buffet, and complete their campaign with their Restaurant of Nations menu on Tuesday.

The senior team is led by Nick Davies, culinary craft trainer with Cambrian Training, Welshpool, who is combining the roles of manager and member. Captain for the first time is Sergio Cinotti from the award-winning Gemelli and Gem42 Restaurants, Newport.

Team members are: Dylan Wyn Owens, Manchester City Football Club’s head chef at the Etihad Stadium, pastry chef Will Richards from Cambrian Training, Matthew Smith, from Star Chef Catering in Newtown, Mark Robertson from Coleg Cambria, Wrexham, Jay Humphris from Coleg y Cymoedd and Zak Pegg from The Harbourmaster Hotel, Aberaeron. Logistics manager is Peter Fuchs, culinary director of The Celtic Collection and ICC Wales, Newport.