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Top Welsh chefs and hospitality professionals to judge new competition

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Some of Wales’ best and most renown Chefs and Hospitality professionals are on the judging panel for the upcoming Young Chef Young Waiter Wales (YCYW) competition – a first of its kind for the country – hosted by University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) this autumn.

The competition, which is open to any hospitality professional age 26 and under living and working in Wales, aims to uncover talented youngsters and give them a chance to compete on the world stage to bolster their career, build skills and develop networks.

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A team of judges will assess each stage of the competition, from application submissions to meals and cocktails produced by shortlisted competitors at the two-day event, which takes place at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea on 31st Oct – 1st Nov.

Judges include Gareth Ward, Head Chef and co-owner of Ynyshir, Wales’ first and only 2 Michelin-star, 5AA Rosette restaurant. Joining Ward will be Hywel Griffith, Head Chef and Director of Michelin-starred Beach House at Oxwich Bay on the Gower peninsular, along with Tom Simmons of Thomas, Pontcanna, and Stephen Terry of the Hardwick in Abergavenny.

Head Chef of Ynyshir, Gareth Ward (Image: Ynyshir)

Assessing Front of House competitors will be Mourad Ben Tefka, Restaurants Director at the Seren Collection, a luxury hospitality group with establishments across Wales. He will be joined by Huw Morgan, a lecturer in catering and hospitality at Coleg Ceredigion, alongside previous YCYW winner Alessandro Calzavacca.

More judges will be announced over coming weeks. It is hoped this excellent line-up of well-respected professionals will inspire young competitors and help them to build their own professional networks amongst Wales’ top hospitality figures.

Mourad Ben Tekfa, Restaurants Director at the Seren Collection (Image: Seren)

Mourad Ben Tekfa, Restaurants Director at the Seren Collection, says, “I am delighted to take part in Wales’ YCYW competition 2022. This is a well-respected competition that will enable contestants to not only push the limits of their knowledge, but also to progress their careers whilst being guided by well-respected members of the industry. It also serves as a fantastic platform to build long-lasting relationships that are so important in Hospitality, to inspire budding talent and to show how great a career path it is.”

Jayne Griffith-Parry, Programme Manager of International Gastronomy Management at UWTSD and Chair of Judges for YCYW Wales says: “As this is the first time this prestigious competition has been held in Wales, I’m delighted that the University is taking the lead and promoting all that is great about young talent in Welsh hospitality. This really puts Wales’ food and beverage industry on the map and gives young chefs and waiters the opportunity to compete on the global stage.

“I’m delighted to be judging alongside such a talented group of industry influencers, and hope for great developments in the future from this event, not only for the industry but also in support of our International Gastronomy degree programme.”

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Gareth Ward, Head Chef and Co-Owner of Ynyshir, adds: “It’s great to be on this year’s YCYW judging panel and I’m looking forward to seeing what these talented young individuals can produce! These competitions are a good way to refine techniques and connect with likeminded people, while showcasing skills within the industry.”

Anyone interested in taking part can enter until 30th September 2022. More information can be found on the Young Chef Young Waiter website, and those interested in gastronomy can explore the International Gastronomy Management course at UWTSD.

(Lead image: Seren)

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