A team of talented chefs from Austria came away victorious after winning the Battle for the Dragon trophy at the Welsh International Culinary Championships, held at Coleg Llandrillo's Rhos-on-Sea campus for the fourteenth year in succession.
After much deliberation, the Austria team was announced as the winner at a presentation dinner at the Llandudno Bay Hotel. The team representing Wales (from the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport), along with a group of chefs from Welshpool-based Cambrian Training - who agreed to step in as a late replacement for Belgium - shared the silver medal.
Hundreds of chefs from across Wales and England competed at the Welsh International Culinary Championships, which saw most of the nation's top culinary competitions brought together in one venue.
Held every February, the championships is a showcase for some of the best chefs from across the UK. Designed to celebrate the nation's fantastic culinary skills and rich array of quality food, the championships is packed with exciting live hot and cold food competitions for learner, junior and senior chefs and waiting staff. Several Coleg Llandrillo students competed, winning several golds, best in class awards and an array of medals between them during the three days of competition.
In addition to the Battle for the Dragon contest, there were the finals of both the National and Junior Chef of Wales competitions.
The annual Battle for the Dragon contest began on Tuesday, with Wales first into the kitchen. They were followed by the Cambrian Training team on Wednesday and Austria on Thursday. Each team was required to cook a three-course menu for 70 people under the supervision of a panel of international chef judges.
The victorious Austrian team's starter of pikeperch, Norway lobster, citrus veloute, eggplant, wild broccoli and cavier provided a sumptuous opening dish before the main course of Welsh mountain lamb, pumpkin, red cabbage, potato and black salsify. The dessert, called 'Mozart Inspiration', was a delicious combination of chocolate, nougat, marzipan, apricot sorbet and pistachios.
Previous winners of the Battle for the Dragon trophy include Scotland, Wales, Germany, England, Sweden and New Zealand.
The winner of the Junior Chef of Wales final was Sion Hughes, 20, who works at the Carden Park Hotel in Chester. He narrowly beat ex-Coleg Llandrillo student Oliver Thompson, who claimed the silver medal.
The growing popularity of baking, sugarcraft and cake decorating was reflected in the Cake Cymru show, with dozens of entries from across Wales and England.
The three-day event concluded on Thursday with the prestigious National Chef of Wales final. The four finalists were given three hours to prepare and cook a three-course menu for four people using Welsh ingredients wherever possible.
The eventual winner was Gavin Kellett from Crickhowell, who works at The Three Horseshoes Inn, Groesffordd, Brecon. He emerged with the nation's most prestigious culinary title following an exceptional final, which saw him fend off a trio of chefs from the Chester Grosvenor.
People in the UK and abroad followed the whole event live, as it was streamed across the internet on the college's website.
The Welsh International Culinary Championshipsis organised by the Culinary Association of Wales and main sponsor is Food and Drink Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government's department representing the food and drink industry.
Grŵp Llandrillo Menai is a recipient of a Queens Diamond Jubilee Anniversary Award, which was presented in 2012 at Buckingham Palace for delivering world-class education in hospitality and catering at every level of study. In the recent Estyn government inspection, the college's hospitality and catering provision was classed as 'excellent'.
For more information on Hospitality and Catering courses at Coleg Llandrillo, call the college's Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.