The Culinary Association of Wales (CAW) is spreading its wings to include craft butchers as members.
Members voted at the biennial general meeting in Welshpool to welcome the new division following a proposal by president Arwyn Watkins, OBE.
Mr Watkins, managing director of Cambrian Training Company, said a Craft Butchery Team Wales had been formed to compete in the World Butchers’ Challenge in Sacramento, California in September 2020.
The team had no natural home in Wales and he believed welcoming craft butchers as a division of the CAW would be mutually beneficial, as Culinary Team Wales could pass on valuable experience and knowledge of competing in global competitions.
“Bringing craft butchers nearer to craft chefs has got to be a good move, as there will be plenty of continuing professional development cross over opportunities,” he added. “The international networks established by Culinary Team Wales when competing around the world will also be very useful to the butchers and their sponsors.”
He said the support mechanism for the butchers already existed through Cambrian Training Company, which organises the Welsh Butcher of the Year and Butchery WorldSkills UK competitions.
Mr Watkins also reported that a restaurant services team from Wales would be competing for the first time in a front of house competition at the Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart in February next year. Members voted to accept the team under the CAW banner if a manager is appointed.
Culinary Team Wales has entered senior and junior teams for the Culinary Olympics.
CAW membership fees were frozen for another year at £15 for juniors, £35 for adults and £150 for groups of 10 members.
In his president’s report, Mr Watkins said many of the targets set at the last biennial general meeting had been achieved, including raising the profiles of the CAW and Culinary Team Wales.
He had received the President’s Medal at the Worldchefs Congress in Malaysia in recognition of the positive impact that Wales had made on Worldchefs. Danny Burke, of Olive Tree Catering, Runcorn, who is coach to the Junior Culinary Team Wales, was congratulated on reaching the Worldchefs Global Chef Final Russia 2020 after winning his heat in Italy.
“As an association, we have created significant opportunities to profile Welsh food and drink at trade shows, industry events and VIP events, such as a St David’s Day function at 10, Downing Street, a Celtic gourmet event in Brussels and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru,” he added.
“The feedback received from clients has been extremely positive and, as president, I am very proud of the professionalism and business-like work ethic of our chefs selected to carry out these functions.”
He reported that HRH The Prince of Wales had agreed to be CAW patron for a further five years, to be reviewed in 2023.
He appealed to more members to apply to qualify as Worldchefs judges. He wants Wales to boost its A judges from two to three and B judges from one to three, to benefit Culinary Team Wales.
A date change for the Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart – February 14-19, 2020 – is set to impact the Welsh International Culinary Championships, which are moving to the autumn half term next year at Coleg Llandrillo Menai. The Junior and National Chef of Wales competitions are being reviewed, with the possibility of holding a separate event.
“Overall it has been a great term of office with a lot achieved, but much more to do to make this a sustainable membership association that maintain Worldchefs membership, supports its chefs and craft butchers in competitions and secures a succession plan for its current board of directors,” added Mr Watkins.
He, Toby Beevers, of PSL Purchasing Systems, and Colin Gray of Capital Cuisine, Caerphilly, were re-elected as president, treasurer and vice president respectively.
Mr Burke was elected Junior Culinary Team Wales coach, with Mike Evans, Coleg Llandrillo Menai, as manager. Re-elections were Nick Davies, Cambrian Training Company, as Culinary Team Wales manager, Alun Davies, RAF Winchester, as Culinary Team Wales captain, Gareth Johns, Wynnstay Hotel, Machynlleth as Chefs Without Borders Ambassador, Michael Bates, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport, as external events lead and Chris Bason, Cambrian Training Company, as education and skills lead
The CAW is still seeking nominations for national secretary and National Culinary Committee chair. Nominations should be sent to Vicky Watkins at the CAW on email@example.com.