Award-winning patisserie chef Alys Evans can’t wait to finally make her debut for Culinary Team Wales.
The talented 20-year-old from Gilfach Goch, who now works for Cocorico Patisserie in Cardiff, will be heading to Luxembourg with her Welsh teammates for the Culinary World Cup in November.
Her debut has been delayed as a broken leg on a skiing accident in January prevented her from representing Wales at La Parade des Chefs at the International Salon Culinaire in London in March.
The accident threatened not just her involvement with the Welsh team, but also her job and prospects of representing the UK at WorldSkills Russia in August next year.
“I was gutted,” said Alys, who won the VQ Learner of the Year (Intermediate) Award in 2017. “I thought I would be out of the Wales team, the WorldSkills UK squad and I would lose my job. It was horrendous but luckily it all just managed to be ok.
“The Welsh squad were great and I have managed to catch up on all the missed practices. I just can’t wait to represent Wales at the Culinary World Cup. It’s really exciting as it will be my first time competing for Wales, which means everything to me.
“I have worked really hard and moved job in order to improve my patisserie skills and become better at what I am doing. To finally be part of the Welsh team and be recognised will be amazing.”
Alys’ dedication to improving her skills sees her attend Culinary Team Wales practices as well as WorldSkills UK training sessions as far away as Hull. The selection process for the patisserie place in the UK team for Russia is now down to Alys and a Hull chef, which will be decided next February.
Culinary Team Wales will again by captained by Danny Burke, co-owner of Olive Tree Catering, Hawarden. His teammates are Jason Hughes of Chateau Rhianfa, Menai Bridge, Toby Beevers of PSL Purchasing Systems, Sergio Cinotti, who runs the award-winning Gemelli Restaurant in Newport and Alun Davies, former captain of the Combined Services and RAF culinary teams who is based in Winchester.
The team begins its quest for gold medals by presenting a cold buffet display on November 25 and then competes in the hot kitchen on November 27 with an evening service.
Their hot kitchen menu includes a starter of scallops, with ceviche, compressed cucumber and chicken skin granola and a main course of hay-smoked loin of Welsh Lamb with almond puree. Lamb tagine, apricots and couscous. Dessert is white chocolate and lemon mousse with Welsh honey, raspberry sorbet, raspberry gel and mint.
Practice dinners are being held at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s Rhos-on-Sea campus on September 24 and at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport on November 5. Tickets for the Celtic Manor dinner are available from Vicky Watkins at the Culinary Association of Wales at [email protected] .
Culinary Team Wales is sponsored by the Welsh Government’s Food and Drink Wales, Cambrian Training Company, Grwp Llandrillo Menai, Castell Howell Foods, Hybi Cyg Cymru, Harlech Foods and Goodfellows.