A WREXHAM student is set to win £3,000 and be named the UK’s rising ‘Wokstar’ in a new Chinese cooking competition for catering students.
Dylan Quartly, 18, dazzled the judges in the very first round of the competition last week, which saw five students from Wrexham’s Coleg Cambria put through their paces and asked to serve a Chinese hot dish, a cold dish and a dessert.
Under intense pressure, Dylan served the best hot and cold dish and was named the overall winner of the heat by the judges’ chairman, Mike Jennings of the Hospitality Hut. Classmate Edward James produced the best dessert in the heat.
Dylan now moves on to the final, which will be held at the award-winning Lu Ban restaurant in Liverpool on June 17.
Winner cold dish (left) and hot dish by Dylan Quartly.
Mike said: “It was fantastic to see such an energetic and enthusiastic group of students competing in the Wokstar heat.
“The standard of cooking was extremely high with a very detailed approach. All participating students can be proud of what they have achieved. We look forward to seeing Dylan and the other students in Liverpool next month.”
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The Wokstar 2022 competition, which is supported by the Lu Ban Foundation, the Chinese Department of Education and the Tianjin School of Cookery, was launched to promote Chinese culinary arts skills and give student chefs an insight into the Chinese cuisine.
This is the first year of the competition, which includes a total of six colleges from across England and Wales, with the aim of expanding it further across the UK next year.
All of this year’s competitors and their guardians will be invited to Liverpool and the final. Heat winners will be ‘grilled’ by a panel of food and drink experts, while the rest will enjoy a tour of Liverpool.
Dylan Quartly working in the kitchen.
The winning Wokstar will be announced on the day, while the winning tutor will be invited back to enjoy an evening at the Chef’s Table in Lu Ban.
The ceremony is set to be broadcast live in China to coincide with Tianjin Vocational Skills Week.
Lu Ban Foundation Director and Wokstar Contest Consultant Mike Mounfield explained the thinking behind the contest and how the foundation supports it.
He said: “We knew that many culinary competitions were not an option for colleges, so following advice from the Professional Association for Catering Education (PACE) and in consultation with senior food lecturers , the Lu Ban Foundation developed the Wokstar competition to overcome challenges and complications.
“This has included Wokstar supporters funding all the ingredients for the students to compete.”
• For more information on the competition and to find out all the winners of the series, follow the Wokstars competition via wokstar.org