Sharna through to final of Major culinary competition after Wales success

A 16-year-old student from Cheshire College South & West Crewe campus is through to the national final of the junior Major Culinary Challenge Competition.

Sharna Fraser, who lives in Shavington and works part-time at her local Hickory’s Smokehouse, won the regional semi-final at the Welsh International Culinary Championships (WICC) held at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai’s campus in Rhos-on-Sea last week.

The Major Culinary Challenge Competition, held in conjunction with the Craft Guild of Chefs, sees chefs cook a two course menu in an hour, including a vegan starter and a main course of their own choice.

Sharna, who is working towards to Professional Cookery Level 2 qualification, will now go through to compete in the final at Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC), which is being held from March 20-22.

The overall winner of the competition will win a Michelin-starred meal for themselves and a guest in their local area. The winner will also take part in a culinary flavour discovery at the home of Major in Milton Keynes for two days.

“This is my first competition and I am absolutely blown away to win,” she said. “Having the opportunity in the final is more than enough, but it will be interesting to see what comes out of it.”

She explained that she currently works part-time in a front of house role for Hickory’s Smokehouse because she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. Having experienced the buzz of competition success, she declared: “I think I have decided that I want to be chef in the kitchen now.”

Sharna received her award from Fergus Martin, senior development chef for Major, and Culinary Association of Wales president Arwyn Watkins, OBE.

The WICC is organised by the Culinary Association of Wales (CAW) and main sponsor is Food and Drink Wales, the Welsh Government’s department representing the food and drink industry. Other sponsors include Castel Howell, Churchill, Major International, Riso Gallo, Dick Knives, MCS Tech Products, Hybu Cig Cymru/ Meat Promotion Wales and Grŵp Llandrillo Menai.