Gavin Kellett has been crowned the National Chef of Wales 2018 at the three-day Welsh International Culinary Championships.
Kellett, who works as a sous chef at the Three Horseshoes Inn in Brecon, Powys, fended off a trio of chefs from the Chester Grosvenor to the crown, including 2018 Junior Chef of Wales champion Arron Tye, with Sam Griffiths in third and another 2018 finalist, Matt Ramsdale, in fourth.
"I am very surprised to have won," said Kellett. "It has been very hectic over the last three or four days preparing for this, so to have won is up there with the best days of my career.
"I try to do things a bit different with my own twist on classics. I wasn't going to enter any more competitions after this, but I will have to change my mind now! I have to thank my wife who was with me today and also my work for allowing me the time off to enter. I am delighted."
At the competition, held at Grwp Llandrillo Menai's Rhos-on-Sea campus, the four chefs were tasked with creating a three-course meal for four people using mostly Welsh products. The starter had to be vegan, with the main course consisting of two different cuts of Welsh beef and a dessert including chocolate as a main ingredient.
Kellett impressed the four judges with a Waldorf salad starter consisting of poached celeriac, burnt apple and walnut bread; followed by a main course of Butty Bach-glazed fillet of Welsh beef, braised oxtail, Menai oyster, baked potato foam, beef dripping carrots and grain crust. His finale was a dessert of Coco Pzazz dark chocolate and Penderyn whisky cheesecake with peanuts, Welsh honeycomb and Halen Mon salted caramel.
As well as the prestigious dragon trophy, Kellett will be invited to a study tour hosted by Koppert Cress in the Netherlands. He also received £250 worth of Churchill products and an engraved set of knives made by Friedr Dick.
The awards were presented at a dinner held at the Llandudno Bay hotel last night, organised by the Culinary Association of Wales.Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).