Arron Tye of Carden Park in Chester has won Junior Chef of Wales 2018 at the Welsh International Culinary Championships (WICC).
The 23-year-old chef de partie, who is also captain of the Junior Welsh National Culinary Team, clinched the title after a closely contested final at the WICC at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Rhos-on-Sea campus in Conwy.
“I have always wanted to win this award and hopefully I can go forward to the National Chef of Wales final in the future,” he said.
The finalists cooked a three-course menu for four people in three hours, using Welsh ingredients wherever possible.
Tye’s winning menu opened with a starter of pan fried Anglesey scallops and seabass fillet with tortellini, charred Welsh baby leeks, pickled onion cups, leek purée and onion broth. Main course was Rhug Estate organic pork fillet wrapped in pancetta and served with young carrot, pot-roasted savoy cabbage and orange and carrot purée. Dessert was Blodyn Aur rapeseed sponge with Gwynt y Ddraig cider apples, honeycomb tuile, loganberry crémeux and blackberry ice cream.
Tye’s prizes include a three-day culinary tour with Koppert Cress in the Netherlands, which will include a masterclass from a two Michelin-starred chef, cooking for the company’s chief executive in a development kitchen, and an introduction to new developments and trends.
He also automatically qualifies for the Craft Guild of Chefs’ Young National Chef of the Year semi-final and received a set of engraved knives from Friedr Dick and a £100 voucher for products from Churchill.
Runners-up included Harry Paynter-Roberts, demi chef de partie at Manchester House; Oliver Thompson, demi chef de partie at the Bull at Beaumaris; Luke Rawicki, chef de partie at Slaughters Manor House in Cheltenham; and Thomas Martin, chef de partie at Holm House hotel in Penarth.
The final judges included Culinary Association of Wales vice-president Colin Gray, Worldchefs continental director for Northern Europe Dragan Unic, Junior Culinary Team Wales manager Michael Evans, Culinary Team Wales captain Danny Burke, and owner of the Lion hotel in Llandinam Nick Davies.
The WICC are organised by the Culinary Association of Wales and the main sponsor is Food and Drink Wales.
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