Chefs treat VIPs to a taste of Wales at 10 Downing Street reception

A team of Welsh chefs brought a taste of Wales to London at a St David’s Day reception held at 10 Downing Street last week.

The team, representing the Culinary Association of Wales (CAW), prepared a selection of mouthwatering savoury and sweet canapes for VIP guests from business, culture and entertainment.

The team included five employees from the Celtic Collection -Thomas Beckett, senior sous ICC Wales, Gary Stephens, head chef at Olive Tree, Shekhar Grover, assistant food beverage director, Bryon Burns, senior sous chef at PAD Restaurant and Adam Whittle, cluster head chef at Coldra Court and Ty Newport – and two apprentices from Chartists 1770 at The Trewythen, Llanidloes, Rosie Koffer and Gabbi Wilson.

The savoury canapes were mini whipped Pembrokeshire potato and shepherd’s pie, Welsh rarebit served on onion bread with local beetroot chutney, crab palmier with flaked white crab, charred sweetcorn and caper berries, bruschetta, goat’s cheese, pickled pear, candied walnut and honey and Glamorgan bon bon, leek, smoked paprika and wild garlic mayo.

The dessert canapes were Welsh cake with strawberry jel and Welsh clotted cream and cinnamon, apple curd, macaron and Welsh whiskey jel.

Drinks included white and rose wines from Radnorshire vineyard Blue Moon and Radnor Hills sparkling water.

Michael Bates, Celtic Collection executive chef, who devised the menu and selected team for the reception, said: “The team said it had been an amazing experience, one for the memory bank. They were all very proud to showcase  produce from Wales and represent the Culinary Association of Wales at such a prestigious event.”

CAW president Arwyn Watkins, OBE, executive chairman of Cambrian Training Company and Trailhead Fine Foods based in Welshpool and Chartists 1770 at The Trewythen, was one of the invited guests.

“It was a real pleasure to attend the reception as a guest on this occasion and the feedback from the fellow guests about the canapes, wine and water was very positive,” he said.

“As Wales is preparing to host the Worldchefs Congress & Expo at ICC Wales in 2026, I took the opportunity to spread the great news whilst networking with guests, including Secretary of State for Wales David T. C. Davies and found the opportunity to be extremely beneficial.”

He thanked The Celtic Collection, Chartists 1770, Castell Howell and Dole Cardiff, fruit and vegetables suppliers, for their support for the reception.