Teenage Celtic Manor chef Jonathan Pring is one of four finalists aiming to win the prestigious Junior Chef of Wales title on Monday, February 11.
Jonathan, aged 18 from Cwmbran, currently works in the Olive Tree kitchen but has set his sights on a fine-dining future after progressing through the South Wales heat.
He impressed the judges in a Masterchef-style competition with his three-course meal of hot smoked salmon, Scotch quails’ egg and lobster tail to start; a loin of venison main with sautéed spinach and beetroot cooked three ways; and a poached red wine pear dessert.
Organised every two years by the Welsh Culinary Association, the Junior Chef of Wales showpiece final is held at Coleg Llandrillo, Rhos on Sea. The competition is sponsored jointly by the Welsh Assembly Government to promote the food and drink industry brand 'Wales the True Taste’, Hybu Cig Cymru/ Meat Promotion Wales and Unilever Food Solutions.
The exciting prize awaiting the eventual winner is an all-expenses paid trip to represent Wales at the Junior Forum at the World Association of Chefs Societies Congress in Stavanger, Norway in 2014. The victor will also receive the coveted Welsh Dragon trophy and have the prestige of being the best junior chef in Wales.
Jonathan will be the youngest of the four finalists and crosses chefs’ knives with Ben Jones, 20, of St Tudno Hotel, Llandudno; Chris Tull, 21, from the Castle Hotel, Conwy; and Toby Hobby, 21, of the Bear Hotel, Crickhowell. Jonathan said:
I’m really looking forward to the final and I’ve got big plans for my three courses this time. It was my first ever competition in the heat and I was a bit nervous so I’m sure I can do even better in the final. I’ve always wanted to be a chef and this sort of thing just spurs me on to keep doing better and better.
Jonathan has worked at Celtic Manor for almost a year after completing a Diploma Levels 1 and 2 in Catering and Hospitality at Cross Keys College.