Welsh chefs prepare for Global Chefs Challenge semi-finals this weekend

(L - R) Steffan Davies and Simon Crockford
03/10/2017 - 14:04
National Chef of Wales and Junior Chef of Wales winners, Simon Crockford and Steffan Davies, are competing in the European semi-finals of the Global Chefs Challenge this weekend (7 October), in Prague.

Organised by World Chefs, the competition requires Crockford and Davies, both members of Culinary Team Wales, to cook six plates of their three-course meals, which have been created with the guidance of mentor Colin Gray, Culinary Association of Wales (CAW) vice president.

Executive restaurant chef at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, Crockford (35) has produced a three-course menu inspired by the dishes that made him Welsh champion: a starter of seared scallops and seabass; main course with veal and foie gras and a chocolate, banana and passion fruit dessert. He will have the help of Celtic Manor Resort demi chef de partie, Darryl Davies, who has worked with Crockford on VIP events including the Ryder Cup.

Crockford said: “It’s quite a different competition to what I have done previously because the commis chef can help in this one. I have gone for taste above everything else with my dishes, and I want to make Wales and myself proud.

“It will be an unbelievable experience, but I don’t think it will be as nerve-wracking as my debut for the Welsh team at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg, which was an unforgettable experience.

“I have to prepare six plates of each dish within three hours, so it’s a real challenge. If I nail the dishes on the day, I am confident about the taste.”

Davies (23) will be competing in the Global Young Chefs Challenge at the same event, and has prepared a menu that opens with yuzu cured seabass, poached oysters, scallop, fresh wasabi and yuzu sorbet. His main course is stuffed veal loin, poached foie gras and black pudding, and for dessert - deconstructed Jaffa cake made of polenta cake, buckthorn and mandarin gels and a sorbet and chocolate ‘glass.’

He explained: “We looked at what was coming into season and wanted to do something with a twist, which explains the deconstructed Jaffa cake idea. The taste is ridiculously amazing.

“Competing in Prague against the best young chefs in Europe should be a real eye opener and I can’t wait to see how each country interprets the menu brief.” Davies, who hopes to qualify for the world final in Lyon next year, will be accompanied by commis chef, Toby Hull, also from Gidleigh Park, Devon.

Meanwhile, CAW is on the hunt for the next National and Junior Chef of Wales, with entries now open for both competitions until 31 October. Entry forms can be downloaded here: http://www.welshculinaryassociation.com/index.php/competitions/ http://www.welshculinaryassociation.com/index.php/competitions/.

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