World’s top chefs coming to Wales next year

Wales will welcome the world’s best chefs next year as the country hosts the prestigious Worldchefs Global Chefs Challenge.

The Culinary Association of Wales (CAW) and its partners, the International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales), the Celtic Manor Resort and the Welsh Government, have accepted an invitation to bring the event to Newport from October 23-26, 2021.

The only major Worldchefs competition in 2021, the event will bring together the world’s top chefs to compete in the finals of three categories: the Global Chefs Challenge, the Global Pastry Chefs Challenge and the Global Young Chefs Challenge.

The Global Chefs Challenge and Worldchefs Village will be combined at the Celtic Manor Resort where the organisers hope to provide a platform for Welsh food and drink business to showcase their products to chefs from around the globe.

To add extra interest for Wales, Danny Burke, coach to the Junior Culinary Team Wales and ex-senior team captain, will be competing in the Global Chefs Challenge against 19 other finalists. Danny, who lives in Connah’s Quay and co-owns Olive Tree Catering in Runcorn, qualified for the final by winning the Northern Europe heat.

The CAW and the Celtic Manor Resort has a successful track record of holding Worldchefs’ events. In 2017, the country hosted a successful Worldchefs European Congress and, last summer, welcomed a Worldchefs board meeting.

CAW president Arwyn Watkins, OBE, managing director of Welshpool-based Cambrian Training Company, said: “Hosting a global event of this magnitude in Wales is a huge honour and undertaking, but the Culinary Association of Wales and its partners relish the challenge of welcoming the world’s best chefs next autumn. Preparations have already begun.

“We are very aware of the scale and significance of securing this prestigious event, which will be the only major Worldchefs event in 2021 and should therefore attract worldwide interest in Wales.

“The Global Chefs Challenge will provide a fantastic showcase of culinary skills and everything that Wales has to offer. Against the current backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, this announcement should be welcome news for the hospitality industry. Hopefully, the event will support the steps being taken to help Wales bounce back from the economic impact of this pandemic.”

Ian Edwards, chief executive of ICC Wales and Celtic Manor Resort, said: “We are delighted to bring this prestigious international event to our venues in 2021. Following the recent announcement that ICC Wales will play host to next year’s Conservative Spring Conference, this is another welcome boost as we look forward to bouncing back from what has been a devastating year for the events industry.

“Our culinary philosophy is a big part of what we do at ICC Wales and hosting this prestigious event would be a brilliant opportunity to showcase Wales’ wealth of produce as well as our growing food and drink industry to an international audience.”

Lesley Griffiths, Wales’ Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said:

Worldchefs is a global network of 105 chefs’ associations representing more than 10 million professional chefs worldwide.

Thomas Gugler, Worldchefs’ president, announced that Wales would be invited to host the Global Chefs Challenge after the country lost to Singapore by just four votes in online ballot in August to select the host country for the Worldchefs Congress and Expo 2024.