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 23rd to 26th October.

The Global Chefs Challenge is where the world’s top chefs meet to compete in three competition categories.

  • The Global Chefs Challenge
  • The Global Pastry Chefs Challenge
  • The Global Young Chefs Challenge

Selected through top performance at the Culinary World Cup and the Worldchefs Regional Semi-Finals, qualifying teams go head to head at the preeminent Worldchefs Congress and Global Chef Challenge Final. Here, the best and brightest convene to show mastery in the culinary arts.

Due to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, the Global Chefs Challenge Finals 2020 were postponed at the Worldchefs Congress and Expo.

The Expo itself brings together delegates and professionals from across the five continents to network and expand their professional bonds. The programme includes presentations and workshops from leading experts in the industry, educational programmes to inspire the next generation of chefs, and diverse activities to enhance both personal and professional network.

Over the course of its 91 years of history, Worldchefs Congress & Expo has been in 38 cities around the globe.

Sadly, because of the current pandemic, this years event in St Petersburg, Russia, had to be cancelled.

This will be the only major Worldchefs competition next year and will bring together the world’s top chefs to compete in the finals of three categories:

And let us tell you just how big a deal this is for Wales. This biennial event has been running since 1928, and is now a global community of chefs and cross-industry innovators to explore the past, present, and future of the culinary trade.

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.

This video, put together last year, will give you an idea of just how prestigious this event is and why hosting the competition here in South Wales is so important.

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.

Danny Burke

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, is Managing Director of Welshpool-based Cambrian Training Company, he 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.

Arwyn Watkins OBE

“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.

Ian Edwards

“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 is Wales’ Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, she said of this fantastic achievement…..

“Whilst we face the continued backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is, of course, very pleasing to see that the Celtic Manor Resort is due to hold the Worldchefs Global Chefs Challenge in 2021. I am pleased that organisations planning ahead for events next year are looking at Wales as a destination.”

Lesley Griffiths

“During difficult times such as these, it is very pleasing to note that Wales has maintained its international reputation for culinary excellence, and that our chefs continue to maintain their world-leading stature. They are a credit to the Welsh food and drink sector.”

Apart from the event itself, it’s a massive boost for our economy too. 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.

The team involved had the very best support in their bid process. Their Patron, Prince Charles, HRH The Prince Of Wales, gave his full support to the campaign.

Here at SOUTH WALES LIFE, we have worked with some of the most well know chefs in the world, at some of the biggest events in the UK, and the fact an organisation like the Culinary Association of Wales exists to support, grow and encourage new talent, has to be a good thing. The Association, supports the senior and junior National Culinary Teams, which represent Wales with distinction at international competitions around the world.

They have over 400 members representing all grades of chef, college lecturers and a wide range of suppliers to the hospitality industry in Wales.

After many years of strenuous lobbying, supported by political leaders in Wales, the Association took a huge step forward when it was granted membership of the prestigious World Association of Chefs’ Societies (WACS) at the 30th World Congress in Kyoto, Japan in March 2020.

The decision meant that, for the first time, Wales could proudly fly the Welsh flag and compete as a nation in its own right, after eight years of competing as a region of Great Britain. As a consequence, the Association was also able to form a junior team to compete on the world stage, which was a major boost for the development and natural progression of young chefs in Wales.

We may be biased here, but there is absolutely no doubt, that in Wales we have some of the finest food you’ll find anywhere in the world. The best, and freshest ingredients, served for us (when the world is back to normal) by some of the most talents chefs and cooks. As if to prove that point even further, Wales is just one more ballot away from bringing the culinary world to the nation in 2024 by hosting the Worldchefs Congress and Expo.

The Culinary Association of Wales was formed in 1993 and describes itself as…….

“A partnership of Professional Chefs and Caterers to develop and raise the culinary profile of Wales, its establishments and those working within them”


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