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Welsh chefs’ leader awarded prestigious medal at Worldchefs Congress

The president of the Culinary Association of Wales has been recognised by chefs around the globe for his work promoting the culinary arts and profession.

Arwyn Watkins, OBE, managing director of award-winning training provider Cambrian Training Company based in Welshpool, was presented with the prestigious Presidents Medal at the Worldchefs Congress and Expo in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

This medal, presented by Worldchefs president Thomas Gugler, recognises individuals who have undertaken activities within their own country to promote the advancement and profile of the culinary arts and profession.

“I am really honoured to receive this medal which is a very pleasant surprise,” said Mr Watkins

Worldchefs is a global network of more than 100 chefs associations worldwide. A non-political professional organisation, it’s dedicated to maintaining and improving the culinary standards of global cuisines.

It’s turning out to be memorable year for the former Army apprentice chef who was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list for his services to education and training in Wales.He received the OBE from Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, at Buckingham Palace in March.

Culinary skills are one of his main passions and he coached the Junior Welsh Culinary Team to a Culinary Olympics gold medal in 2004. As a member of the Applied Ability Awards National Committee, he was instrumental in running pilot programmes in Wales leading to ground-breaking craft-led Apprenticeship Frameworks for chefs.

Last year, he headed up a team that attracted the WorldChefs’ European conference to the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport and is now involved in a team bidding to host the WorldChefs Congress at the Wales International Convention Centre at the Celtic Manor Resort in 2024.

Mr Watkins, who lives in Llanfair Caereinion, joined Cambrian Training Company nearly 20 years ago and is a former chairman and chief executive of the National Training Federation for Wales.

He currently serves as a board member of the Regional Learning and Skills Partnership for West and Mid Wales, a trustee of the British Food Trust and a member of the Worldchefs’ Feed the Planet and Sustainability Committee.

A farmer’s son from Llanwrtyd Wells, he left Builth Wells High School to join the Army as an apprentice chef and has maintained his commitment to apprenticeship programmes ever since.