Posted: Thu 20th Aug 2015

Starring role for award winning Connah’s Quay chef at north Wales food festival

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Aug 20th, 2015

Britain’s youngest head chef will have a starring role at a food festival in North Wales – fresh from cooking Welsh Cakes on the beach in Dubai.

Luke Thomas, of Connah’s Quay, will be among a celebrity line up at Hamper Llangollen 2015 where he will be championing fresh, local ingredients.

The 21 year old says he can’t wait to pass on some of his award winning culinary tips to festival goers.

Entrepreneurial Luke says he is as passionate about food as he was when he clinched the UK’s FutureChef 2009 trophy, aged just 15.

Today he is the kingpin behind a number of restaurants in Chester, the Cotswolds and Berkshire, but he remains hands-on in the kitchen.

He said:

“What I enjoy doing is just browsing round the exhibitor stalls and finding some lovely local ingredients that I can cook up on the podium. It might be the plumpest local sausages, Welsh oysters or seasonal fruit and vegetables but I know there will be plenty of choice there.

“I will be aiming to make three dishes in a half hour, simple recipes using great ingredients, designed to show people that they can achieve delicious cost-effective meals at home quickly and without having to spend hours on preparation.”

One of the UK’s top 10 food festivals

This year’s Hamper Llangollen will be at the Royal International Pavilion over the weekend of October 17 and 18, now in its 19th year the event is recognised as one of the UK’s top 10 food festivals

It is a favourite on the culinary calendar for Luke, not least because he grew up in Wales and, when not travelling the world, he still lives at his family home in Connah’s Quay.

Luke became the youngest head chef in the UK when at age 18 he opened Luke’s Dining Room at Sanctum on the Green, Berkshire, wining the Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Restaurant of the Year award in 2013.

Since then Luke has gone on to open Luke’s Eating House and Gin Rickey’s in Chester, partner with Puma Hotels to create Luke’s Broadway in the Cotswolds, and launch Retro Feasts, at first in London’s Mayfair and earlier this year at The Beach, Dubai.

Retro Feasts is inspired by some of Luke’s childhood favourite recipes, like home-made cottage pie.

“I wouldn’t lie and say I am in the kitchen seven days a week.” Says Luke “Nowadays there’s so much going on with the way the business is so rapidly developing that it’s impossible for me to do that.

“But I do get in the kitchen as often as I can, whether it be in Chester, Berkshire, London or Dubai. Cooking is where I am happiest, I love the buzz of the busy fast-paced environment, the creativity and the satisfaction of serving great food.”

Hamper Llangollen chair Colin Loughlin believes this year’s festival is going to be one of the best ever.

He said:

“Thanks to a whole host of indigenous companies, North East Wales is rapidly establishing a reputation as a centre of excellence for high quality cuisine.

“The food festival is a perfect shop window for the companies who form the backbone of our rural economy.

“The location of the Pavilion is absolutely spectacular – I can’t imagine that any other food festival in the UK has a more beautiful setting.”

For more details about Llangollen Food Festival-Hamper Llangollen visit: Llangollen food festival

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