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Silver medal for pastry chef

The Shrewsbury-based captain of the Junior Culinary Team Wales has added another silver medal to his growing collection.

Calum Smith, a 21-year-old pastry chef at Shrewsbury School, represented Wales in the Global Young Chefs Challenge North Europe heat in Rimini, Italy, where only two of his seven rival chefs achieved gold medals.

It was Calum’s first individual competition, having led Wales to team silver and bronze medals at the Culinary World Cup in Luxembourg last November.

Although his silver medal did not qualify him for the Global Young Chefs Challenge final at the Worldchefs Congress & Expo in Singapore next year, he will be going to the major culinary event as commis chef to Sion Hughes, Wales’ finalist in the Global Chefs Challenge.

Sion, head chef at the Spa at Carden Park Hotel, near Chester, and Calum were the youngest chefs in their respective competitions.

“I was slightly disappointed because I would have liked a gold medal, but it was my first competition on my own and I was delighted to come away with silver,” said Calum.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the competition and it gives me something to build on. There is a big difference between competing as an individual and as part of a team.

“I still have a chance to go to Singapore to compete with Sion in the Global Chefs Challenge final and the hard works starts now for us. It was an eye-opener for both of us to see the best chefs in North Europe competing as individuals.”

He reserved special praise for Culinary Association of Wales culinary director Graham Tinsley, executive head chef at Carden Park Hotel and Spa, who accompanied both chefs and mentored them.

“I have learnt more from Graham in the last four days than I have ever learnt,” added Calum. “After more than 40 years in the industry at a global level, his knowledge is fantastic.”

As for the future, Calum is focued on entering the Junior Chef of Wales competition next year, is looking forward to the Global Chefs Challenge final, and hopes Wales will have a junior team in the Culinary Olympics in Germany.