Three local restaurants are set to battle it out to have the official 2018 Year of the Sea dish for North East Wales this Friday.
Over the last four weeks, twelve restaurants and cafes in the region have served up their interpretations of the classic fish & chips (but with a twist!) or their surf & turf dishes – all taking inspiration from 2018 theme of ‘Year of the Sea’ and working with local producers where possible.
After receiving the reports from mystery diners (we were lucky enough to be one!), the Fat Boar Wrexham, the Royal Oak Bangor on Dee and Gales in Llangollen will cook their dish for a panel of judges this Friday at Hafod Restaurant, at the Wrexham town centre Coleg Cambria campus.
Running through the finalists…
The Fat Boar’s 18oz bone in Celtic pride ribeye, giant crab claws and Perl las sauce proved very popular with diners.
Gales in Llangollen also made it into the top three with a fantastic surf and turf dish featuring Pen y Lan pork belly, saffron mash, American sauce, langoustine and a quail’s egg.
The Royal Oak’s ‘surf & slurp’ dish featuring braised pork & mussels was a hit too. (top pic)
After the dishes have been served on Friday – an invited panel of judges will choose a winning dish and the head chef will receive a trophy, along with the chance to serve up their dish at food festivals later in the year and feature in national press about Wales’ food scene.
The lucky judges include; Kerry Thatcher – Visit Wales Food Division, Grant Mulholland – Michelin Guide Head Chef – Hand at Llanarmon, Kevin Lynn – Michelin Guide Head Chef – the Machine House, Caroline Dawson – Welsh Seafood Cluster Manager, Tracey Hughes – Porters Delicatessen and Chris Nelson – Artisan Street Food Caterer
The challenge has been backed by the Welsh Governments Regional Tourism Engagement Fund (RTEF) following the success of food challenges in previous years.
Speaking about the finalists, Destination Manager at Wrexham Council Joe Bickerton, part of the NE Wales Marketing team added: “We have three fantastic dishes competing in the cook-off on Friday.
“Ultimately though, the team wants to acknowledge the collective efforts that all of the twelve eateries have put in over the last month to work with local producers, celebrate the Year of the Sea and deliver an outstanding welcome to their diners – many of whom visited to try the dishes and will hopefully keep supporting these independent businesses.”