TRADITIONAL WELSH FOOD -
BWYD CYMREIG TRADDODIADOL
MODERN WELSH COOKING -
COGINIO CYMREIG CYFOES
Chefs Cook Up For The Gol d!
Thorne, Food Editor
In November, two events were staged - The Culinary World Cup (Luxembourg) and True Taste of Wales Awards – both of great interest in the Welsh food arena. This is the first time Wales has competed in the World Cup Competition as an independent country. Previously, it competed as a region of the UK. The True Taste of Wales Program is brand new in 2002.
Team Entries: Appetizer
- Terrine of Fish Wrapped in Smoked Sewin (Char) with
Jerusalem Artichoke Asparagus Salad. Entree
- Glazed Belly Pork, Fillet of Pork Wrapped in Apple, Sage and Black
Pudding, with Braised Fennel and Cabbage Potato Cake, Panache of Vegetables and
Calvados Sauce with Apple Crisp. Dessert - Warm
Chocolate Tarte with Cariad Blush Champagne and Raspberry Jelly, Elderflower
Panecotta, with Berry Compote and Raspberry Tuille.
The Senior Welsh National Team placed 7th out of 24 in the overall competition. Peter Jackson, the chef partner of Hotel Maes-y-Neuadd, Talsarnau, near Harlech, and Welsh team manager commented, "What a fantastic achievement by the Senior Team on its debut as a national team. Everyone is euphoric. We were looking to place in the top 12 before we left for the Culinary World Cup and to finish in the top seven is fabulous. The Junior Team has also done brilliantly well. Apart from winning silver and bronze medals, it has been a marvelous experience for the team to have been exposed to the world stage.”
He continued, "All the teams from around the world are so happy for the Welsh Team because they know the battle we had to win national status."
The overall winner was Sweden. To put the Senior Welsh Team’s achievement in prospective, they were edged by Canada for sixth place but beat the US that placed eighth. England did not compete!
The Welsh Senior Team won Gold Medals in the “Hot Kitchen” category of the event and Silvers in the “Cold Buffet”. The “Hot Kitchen” winning dishes were:
Senior Team Members were:
Manager Peter Jackson, of Hotel Maes y Neuadd, Harlech; Captain Graham
Tinsley, of Castle Hotel, Conwy; Vice Captain Colin Gray, of Baron's
Patisserie, Cardiff; Lee Jeynes, Alchemy, Cumbria; Nick Davies, Cambrian
Training Company, Welshpool and Wayne Roberts, The Waterfront, Trearddur Bay.
Duncan Foulkes, Team Publicist
writes, “The country is blessed
with a fantastic array of seafood from its coastline, lakes and rivers. Welsh
Lamb and Welsh Black Beef rank alongside the world's finest meat. Welsh dairy
produce, especially specialty cheeses, is in great demand. There is an
abundant supply of fresh vegetables and fruit.”
Duncan Foulkes, Team Publicist writes, “The country is blessed with a fantastic array of seafood from its coastline, lakes and rivers. Welsh Lamb and Welsh Black Beef rank alongside the world's finest meat. Welsh dairy produce, especially specialty cheeses, is in great demand. There is an abundant supply of fresh vegetables and fruit.”
Peter Jackson added, "The
natural ingredients are so good... There is no doubt that the perception of
quality food in Wales has been raised………”
The Junior Welsh National Team won Silver Medals in their “Cold Buffet” entry and Bronze Medals for their “Hot Kitchen”. This is a remarkable achievement in view of the fact that they are a brand new team and have only been together since April of this year!
The Junior Team, coached by Peter Fuchs, Food and Beverage Director at The Celtic Manor, Newport, was: Captain Gareth Dwyer, 23, of Hotel Maes-y-Neuadd; Hefin Roberts, 19, of Cobdens Hotel, Capel Curig, Michael Francis, 19, of Celtic Manor and Ceri Smith, 21, of Miskin Manor Hotel, Llantrisant. The support member is Matthew Williams, 20, of Newbridge on Usk Hotel, Newport.
In the individual pastry display competitions, Sarah Duggan, of UWIC, Cardiff won a Gold, Karl Hughes, of the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport and Toby Beevers, of the Chester Grosvenor Hotel, won Silver Medals and David Kelman, of Bodysgallen Hall, Llandudno, received a Diploma.
For a full report including Team Photos and Junior Team Menus with Plated Photos, please visit our WELSH NATIONAL CULINARY TEAM Page.
True Taste of Wales Awards – Restaurant Category
This new awards program was initiated in January 2002 to recognize organizations that were utilizing fresh Welsh foods and ingredients in an outstanding manner. The categories cover lamb, beef, dairy, seafood, restaurants and many other food items.
It was very pleasing to learn that five out of the six restaurant medal winners were places I had visited in April 2002 as part of the Fine Dining in Wales Tour. This working tour was the feature of two articles in the Ninnau earlier (July & August) this year. The restaurant winners were:
Medium to Large Category
Gold: Plas Bodegroes, Pwllheli; Silver: Le Gallois -Y Cymro, Cardiff; Bronze: Harbourmaster Hotel, Aberaeron.
Plas Bodegroes, Pwllheli, Gwynedd is a Michelin Star
restaurant with fabulous
food. The food is affordable and the portions satisfying. This small country
house located on beautiful grounds would be a top choice for a relaxing couple
of days. Go for the food but plan to stay since you will not want to leave. On
my visit I enjoyed -- appetizer: Smoked
Salmon Parcel of Crabmeat, followed by Pigeon Breast Stuffed with
Bubble and Squeak. Entrée was Welsh Mountain Lamb followed by Bara
Bread Pudding with Whisky Ice Cream – Chef/Owner Chris Chown was the
first to create a Bara Brith Bread Pudding in Wales!
Plas Bodegroes, Pwllheli, Gwynedd is a Michelin Star restaurant with fabulous food. The food is affordable and the portions satisfying. This small country house located on beautiful grounds would be a top choice for a relaxing couple of days. Go for the food but plan to stay since you will not want to leave. On my visit I enjoyed -- appetizer: Smoked Salmon Parcel of Crabmeat, followed by Pigeon Breast Stuffed with Bubble and Squeak. Entrée was Welsh Mountain Lamb followed by Bara Brith Bread Pudding with Whisky Ice Cream – Chef/Owner Chris Chown was the first to create a Bara Brith Bread Pudding in Wales!
Photos: Plas Bodegroes -- its Beautiful Grounds -- Viewed from the Blue Bell Patch. Appetizer: Pigeon Breast Stuffed with Bubble & Squeak.
Le Gallois-Y Cymro, Cardiff is a place where food is an art form. Using the freshest ingredients, they craft superb and artistic dishes in spectrums of the fullest flavors. Minimalistic and arty in décor, one instantly feels this is a place that ensures an elevated sense of the finest dining. Owned by Chef Padrig & Anne Jones.
Harbourmaster Hotel, Aberaeron, Cardiganshire is a new venture of Glyn and Menna Heulyn who are fulfilling the dream of moving back home to create a hotel in Aberaeron that, as they say, “…will do justice to this lovely place..”
I did not visit Harbourmaster last April as they were in the process of finishing a winter-long renovation. On my next trip it will be a destination.
Small to Medium Restaurants
Gold: Armless Dragon, Cardiff;
Silver: Carlton House,
Llanwrtyd Wells; Bronze: Bricklayers Arms, Montgomery.
Armless Dragon, Cardiff, is the Gold Award winner. Chef/Owner Paul Lane operates a restaurant offering a warm comfortable dining atmosphere. One judge, during the awards ceremony was heard to remark, “This is one of the most under-rated restaurants in the whole of South Wales.”
Try their Halibut Stuffed with Smoked Salmon, Cannons of Brecon Lamb, Pembrokeshire Fillet Mignon or Loin of Venison.
One of the best bread puddings renditions I have ever tasted was at the Armless Dragon. Chef Lane has kindly provided the recipe below.
Carlton House,Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys is a Silver winner and another Michelin Star Restaurant. Chef Mary Ann Gilchrist is a powerhouse; I would visit just for her Char-Grilled Filet Mignon of Welsh Black Beef. Last spring, I had the best fillet ever, anywhere, cooked to medium rare, topped with a Black Olive Tapenade. The dish was yummy, yummy all the way! If you think dinner was good wait until breakfast. Mary Ann’s traditional breakfast has eggs so bright yellow and full of flavor you would swear the chickens eat saffron.
The dining room is so beautiful it’s theatrical. Mary Ann often completes the drama by serving the dishes to customers herself.
Breakfast with Bright yellow Scrambled Eggs.
Bricklayers Arms, Montgomery, Powys is what every pub should be like. Master Chef Rob Jennings runs the kitchen while Co-Owner Sara Pezzak manages the front of the house. I wish more pubs were locally owned and operated. I can personally verify it to be a “beacon of good food”. Enjoy a nice pub atmosphere. It’s a favorite local spot of Emyr Griffin, the well-known Welsh food and hotel expert.
Some typical Welsh menu items would be for appetizers: Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Welsh Mature Cheddar Cheese; Wafers of Abergavenny Smoked Chicken with Baby Leaf Salad with Wholegrain Dressing and Mille Feuille of Seafood Garnished with Ynyslas Mussels in a Noilly Prat Cream Reduction.
Main courses: Slow Roast Fillet of Salmon Glazed with Porth Farm Honey, Puglia Pasta and Sauce Vierge; Fillet of Local Beef with a Fondue of Leek, Chestnut Mushrooms with Madeira Jus and Loin of Marches Lamb Stuffed with Mulled Apricots, Dauphinoise Potatoes and Redcurrant Jus.
Like to read more about these restaurants and other great dining opportunities? Click on Fabulous Food in Wales.
Servings: Six to Eight Portions
18 oz milk
18 oz whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 orange, zest of
9 oz sugar
6 egg yolks
8-10 bread slices, trimmed white
1/2 c raisins, soaked in rum
apricot preserve, as needed
Boil together the milk, cream, vanilla essence, and zest. Leave stand for at least 20 minutes. Whisk the eggs and sugar until smooth and lump free. Pour in the hot cream mix, stirring continuously. Put a few rum soaked raisins in the base of the dish. Put a layer of bread on top and pour in mix. It’s important to ensure the bread slices are thoroughly saturated with the liquid mix. Bake in a bain marie (water bath) for 45 minutes at 375º F. Glaze with apricot preserve.
eich Pryd – Enjoy your Meal
Mwynhewch eich Pryd – Enjoy your Meal
Duncan Foulkes, Tregynon, Newtown, Wales contributed
to Culinary Team section.
Copyright Ken Thorne.