The National Chef of Wales contest has named its four finalists to go through to the deciding cook-off in the new year.
- Benjamin Taylor, head chef, Lucknam Park hotel, Colerne, Wiltshire
- Thomas Westerland, chef de partie, Lucknam Park hotel, Colerne, Wiltshire
- Jack Davison, sous chef, Deganwy Quay hotel and spa, Deganwy
- Nathan Davies, head chef, Belle Vue Royal hotel, Aberystwyth
The final places were decided following this year's semi-finals, which took place at the campus of the further education college the NPTC Group on 16 November. For the first time, the contest has been open to any Wales-born chefs, including those working outside the country. Previously, it was only open to chefs living, working, or studying in Wales itself.
The final will take place on the last day of the 2016 Welsh International Culinary Championships at Coleg Llandrillo, Rhos-on-Sea, Colwyn Bay, on 18 February. Finalists will be given three hours to cook a three-course meal.
As well as winning the title of National Chef of Wales, the winner will also automatically go through to the UK semi-finals of the National Chef of the Year competition.
The judges included chairman John Retallick, CAW secretary; Michael Bates, executive chef, Celtic Manor, Newport; Eric Bruce, chef-patron, Restaurant Severn, Ironbridge; and Chris Bason, Cambrian Training Company's head of hospitality.
The national competition is organised by the Culinary Association of Wales (CAW) and the main sponsor is Food and Drink Wales, the Welsh Assembly department representing the food and drink industry.