A sixteen-year-old Welsh schoolboy is to take on the best chefs in Wales in the country's premier culinary contest.
The Welsh winner of this year's FutureChef competition, Luke Thomas from Connah's Quay, who recently made his television debut with celebrity chef Brian Turner on the UK Good Food Channel, has been selected to compete in the National Chef of Wales 2010 contest heats later this month.
Thomas, who works at the Chester Grosvenor and Spa when he's not at school, will compete in the North Wales heat at Deeside College, Connah's Quay on 20 November. Having already worked in London with two-Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing, his ambition is to become the youngest chef ever to earn a Michelin star.
In the North Wales heat, he will be up against James Woodhams from Belle Vue Royal Hotel, Aberystwyth, Christopher Owen from Castle Hotel, Conwy, Kevin Williams from Dolserau Hall Country Hotel, Dolgellau and Steven Peck from We Three Loggerheads Restaurant, Gwernymynydd, Mold.
"I am really looking forward to the heat but it will be a bit daunting being the youngest one there competing against older chefs, who have been in the industry for years," said Thomas. "But it will be down to who performs the best on the day."
Other competitors include James Martin Hamilton from Fairyhill Hotel, Reynoldston, Swansea, Rhys Baileys from the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, David Jones from Llangoed Hall, Llyswen, Iain Sampson from Peterstone Court Country House Restaurant and Spa, Llanhamlach and Andrew Dudley from the Horseshoe Inn, Mamhilad.
All the chefs will be given three hours to devise and cook their own creative menu for a three-course dinner for four, including True Taste-winning products. A panel of judges will select the best four chefs from the heats to compete in the final at the Welsh International Culinary Championships at Coleg Llandrillo Cymru on February 16, 2010.
The winning contestant will receive £2,000 prize money, a trophy and the coveted National Chef of Wales title, while the runner up will go home with £1,000.
By Rosie Birkett
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