American TV star Colleen loves her taste of the Conwy Valley at Bodnant

A glamorous American TV presenter fell in love with a centre of excellence for Welsh food – and will be telling 56 million viewers all about it.

Travel expert Colleen Kelly was so enchanted by Bodnant Welsh Food in the Conwy Valley that she vowed to return and bring her parents with her next time.

According to Colleen, royal-loving American viewers would also be blown away by the fact that the centre was officially opened by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Colleen came on the visit to Bodnant to  record an episode of her popular show, Family travel, which is broadcast right across the United States on the Public Broadcast Network.

Bodnant Welsh Food

In addition, the programme featuring Bodnant Welsh Food will also be screened on the City Secrets show which has a potential audience of 3.5 million people in the Chicago area.

A full day of filming saw Colleen take in a cookery school class with celebrity Welsh food maestro, Dai Chef, Bodnant’s resident chef,  and his nine-year-old daughter Megan.

After tucking into a hearty Welsh breakfast, Colleen sampled the range of Welsh cheeses and local produce available in Bodnant’s farm shop.

She then dressed up in a protective suit to look at honey production at the Welsh National Bee Centre at Bodnant.

Colleen chose to film at Bodnant Welsh Food following an invitation by Visit Wales.

She said: “What a fabulous place! I get to visit lots of locations in my job both in America and around the world but I tell you, I’m bringing my parents on a vacation back here. They will love it!

“American travellers look for three main things, culture, countryside and heritage and Wales has got all that and much more. And the food here is simply to die for.

“The food on offer at Bodnant Welsh Food is truly amazing.

“Heritage is also important to American travellers and to see a plaque here at Bodnant Welsh Food commemorating a visit of Prince Charles and Camilla will be another big draw.”

Tricia Fusilero, President and Executive Producer of Chicago-based Travel Film Productions, who is also Colleen’s sister, said: “Family Travel will be broadcast on PBS in the autumn and will be repeated on PBS over the next two years. It will also go out on 24/7 City Secrets in the Chicago area, a programme presented our other sister, Catie Keogh.”

Tricia, who as a student studied at Cambridge for a year, added: “I’m fortunate to have visited Conwy once before during my student days so knew what to expect.

“However, the film crew and everyone connected with the production has been absolutely blown away by the location, food and hospitality we have experienced while filming here.”

Dai Chef, who also runs the Hayloft restaurant at Bodnant, said: “We have the finest food larder in the world right here on our doorstep and we need international visitors to know that.

Bodnant Welsh Food

“It was a pleasure to prepare a few simple, but tasty dishes, for Colleen to enjoy on camera using mainly local produce while Megan made one of her favourite dishes, Llaeth y Llan – toffee yoghurt trifle, which went down a real treat.”

Bodnant Welsh Food General Manager Gwyndaf Pritchard added: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to get the message across to a wider audience that we have the best regional food on offer anywhere in Europe.

“International visitors can come to enjoy our heritage and our food knowing there is a real warm Welsh welcome to be enjoyed too. I know Colleen and her film crew have been amazed at what they have seen here at Bodnant Welsh Food.”

Robert Lewis Jones, from Visit Wales, was delighted by the warm welcome for Colleen and her crew at Bodnant Welsh Food.

He said: “Family Travel with Colleen Kelly is the perfect vehicle to get our message across of just how wonderful Wales, and North Wales in particular, is in terms of a vacation destination.

“This travel show not only gives the viewer an impression of the amazing countryside around the Conwy Valley and the rest of North Wales, it also gives the audience an insight into the culture and, really importantly, the amazing food and local produce on offer to international visitors.”

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