Chefs Roar to Battle of the Dragon Success

Category: News, Suite Treats, Up Your Game

Four Celtic Manor chefs formed the nucleus of a South Wales team which won the Battle for the Dragon contest at the Welsh International Culinary Championships.

The contest matched some of the best chefs in the three regions of Wales, with the South defeating their counterparts from North and Mid Wales, who were the defending champions.

Each team was challenged to prepare a three course meal for 75 people, using mainly Welsh, seasonal ingredients, at the three-day annual celebration of culinary skills.hosted by Coleg Llandrillo, Rhos-on-Sea.

The South Wales team, which was awarded gold medals, was captained by Celtic Manor Resort executive head chef Michael Bates.He said:

We introduced two new chefs to the competition this year and the team gelled amazingly well and worked in harmony. We approached it like a restaurant service and we all really enjoyed it, which is important. We were criticised for slow service last year but this time everything went like clockwork and all the courses were served in one hour and 20 minutes.

Bates was joined in the wining team by three Celtic Manor colleagues, head chef Simon Crockford, pastry chef Karl Jones Hughes and demi chef Ffion Lewis, as well as Kieran Harry, head chef at Cardiff’s Chapel 1877 and Nick Collins, senior development chef for the National Contract Caterer Catering Academy.

They cooked a starter of cod cheek, brassica, potted brown shrimp wonton, sweetcorn, tomato caviar and coriander foam. Main course was Welsh Lamb loin, spiced vegetable and chickpea pudding, lamb bon bon, pickled anchovy and aubergine puree, salt bake beetroot, baby carrot, wild garlic gremolata orzo, lamb jus. Dessert was Caldey Island chocolate marquise, iced white chocolate and orange parfait, milk fritter infused with rhubarb and ginger liquor, salted macadamia, cookie crumble and scorched ginger meringue.


The team will now showcase the winning menu at a special dinner at Cardiff’s Chapel 1877 on Sunday 12th April. Tickets are priced £30 with £5 going to Velindre Cancer Centre.

Organised by the Culinary Association of Wales, the Battle for the Dragon contest is one of the showpiece events at the championships, the main sponsors of which are the Welsh Government and Hybu Cig Cymru/ Meat Promotion Wales.

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