Chef Simon prepares for World Cup cook-off

Category: A Day in the Life Of, Caught On Camera, News, Suite Treats, What's New

A head chef at the Celtic Manor Resort is preparing to make his international debut for Wales at the Culinary World Cup this month.

Simon Crockford can’t wait to compete for his country against the best chefs in the world at the prestigious competition in Luxembourg from November 22-26.

Thirty national teams will be competing and Simon is hoping to return with  gold medals. He said:

You work all your career to get to this stage and it’s like being chosen for Wales in football or rugby to compete at the World Cup finals. It’s a great honour to be picked for our country and I’m a proud Welshman. I can’t think of anything better.


Simon is joined in the senior Welsh team by captain  Sally Owens, a lecturer at Coleg Llandrillo, Danny Burke, owner of Shared Olive, Hawarden, Ryan Jones, creative development chef at  Fei Foods Limited, Llansamlet, and Leigh Marshall, head chef at the Castle Hotel, Conwy.

The team of chefs held a practice recently when they ran through their World Cup menu at a special dinner hosted by Celtic Manor. Simon added:

The more trials we have done, the more it has sunk in how important this competition is. I love working with the team because it’s all about cooking and the food.  When you take step back and consider what has just happened, it feels unreal. Here am I, a guy from the small fishing town of Tenby and all of a sudden I’m going to Luxembourg to compete with 12 of the best chefs in Wales against the world’s top teams.  I just need to keep my feet on the ground and stay focused. I want to make sure that I perform well and keep my place in the team.


Both the senior and junior Culinary Team Wales will be in action in the hot kitchen on the first day of the World Cup and will prepare a cold buffet display on the third day.

Two of Simon’s workmates from the chefs’ brigade at Celtic Manor, Jonathan Pring and Ffion Lewis, have also been selected in the junior Culinary Team Wales to compete at the Culinary World Cup, while Resort pastry chef Karl  Jones-Hughes will be part of the support team.

Now sponsored by Villeroy & Boche,he first ever Culinary World Cup took place in 1972, created by the Vatel Club Luxembourg, the Grand-Duchy’s association of professional chefs. This year, more than 2,000 chefs and pastry chefs from more than 100 teams across the globe will be taking part in different categories of the competition.

The Welsh teams are sponsored by the Welsh Government, Hybu Cig Cymru (Meat Promotion Wales), Churchill, Friedr. Dick, Germany, Brakes and Coleg Llandrillo, Rhos-on-Sea.

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