Wales launches premier national competitions to find the best chefs

Talented chefs are being challenged to put their skills to the test in the two most prestigious competitions in Wales.


The Culinary Association of Wales (CAW) has launched the National and Junior Chef of Wales competitions which again have some fabulous prizes on offer.


To enter, chefs must work at an establishment or study at a college for a catering qualification within Wales or be of Welsh descent and working in another country.


Entries are now open for both competitions which will be held at the Welsh International Culinary Championships (WICC) from February 21-23, 2023, at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s campus in Rhos-on-Sea.


At stake in the National Chef of the Wales final is £500 for the winner, £300 for the runner-up and £200 for third place. The winner will also receive a set of engraved knives from Friedr Dick and £250 worth of Churchill products.


The Junior Chef of Wales winner will have a chance of a lifetime to attend the Worldchefs Congress 2024 in Singapore with CAW delegates.


He or she will also qualify for the semi-finals of the Young National Chef of the Year contest, organised by the Craft Guild of Chefs and receive support from the Junior Culinary Team Wales, a set of engraved knives from Friedr Dick and products worth £100 from Churchill.


Entries for both competitions must be received by January 31, 2023. Entry forms may be downloaded from the CAW website and returned either by email to or by post to Culinary Association of Wales Office, Ty Cambrian, Unit 10, Offa’s Dyke Business Park, Fisher Rd, Welshpool SY21 8JF.


Organised by the CAW, the WICC’s main sponsor is Food and Drink Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government’s department representing the food and drink industry.


Other sponsors include Castel Howell, Churchill, Major International, Riso Gallo, Dick Knives, MCS Tech Products, Hybu Cig Cymru/ Meat Promotion Wales and Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.


National Chef of Wales final will take place on February 21 and 22, 2023 and Junior Chef of Wales final will take place on February 23. The award dinner will be held on the evening of February 23 at The Imperial Hotel, Llandudno.


The National Chef competition, which is open to chefs aged 23 and above on January 1, 2023, challenges chefs to cook their own creative menu for a three course dinner for 12 people within five hours, using a majority of Welsh ingredients.


The final will be contested by the eight highest scorers from paper judging of all the menus submitted in applications. The finalists’ starter must be suitable for vegans, main course must use two different cuts of PGI Welsh Lamb and dessert must feature seasonal fruits, an ice cream, chocolate and biscuit or tuille.


In the Junior Chef contest, which will be contested by chefs aged between 16 and 23 on January 1, 2023, the finalists must cook their own creative menu for a three-course dinner for four people within three hours, again using a majority of Welsh ingredients.


The final will be contested by the four highest scorers from paper judging of all the menus submitted in the applications. The finalists’ starter must be a seafood/fish appetiser, main course must use one prime cut and one secondary cut of PGI Welsh Beef and dessert must be seasonal, feature one hot element and include chocolate.


Arwyn Watkins, OBE, CAW president, said: “We are fortunate to have talented chefs working and studying within Wales and also others of Welsh descent who are working or studying outside of the country.


“We therefore hope they take this opportunity to showcase their skills in Wales’ premier competitions for chefs. Looking through the list of previous winners, you appreciate the calibre needed to become the best in Wales.”

Picture captions:


Thomas Herbert, winner of the National Chef of Wales 2022 contest.


Dalton Weir, winner of last year’s Junior Chef of Wales final.

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