Recipe for economic success in Conwy

A top chef who’s tantalised the taste buds of the Queen and many other members of the royal family is cooking up a recipe for economic success in Conwy.

Mike Evans, Head Chef at Coleg Llandrillo, in Llandrillo yn Rhos, will be showcasing the fine food produced in the county at the first ever Conwy Business Awards on Friday, May 9.

The aim of the glittering occasion at the at Eirias Events Centre, in Colwyn Bay, is to show the world that Conwy is the perfect place for companies to thrive and prosper.

The organisers are teaming up with the Conwy Cynhaliol (Sustainable Conwy) project which promotes food and drink producers in the county under the Naturally Conwy Valley brand.

They have enlisted the help of Mike, who is the coach of the Junior Welsh Culinary Team and a Vice-President of the Welsh Culinary Association.

On the night he’ll be joined by two other talented chefs, Steve Roberts the former head chef at Llandudno’s St George’s Hotel who now runs his own restaurant, The Cliffs at Rhyd y Foel, near Abergele, and his son, Jonathan Evans, who’ll be at home taking a break from his job in Australia as head chef at the prestigious C Restaurant, in Perth.

Together, they’ll be cooking a feast for the 250 guests at the ceremony using local food, including  a ham hock terrine, stuffed lamb loin and ginger ice cream with rhubarb panacotta.

Organiser Anna Openshaw, Conwy Rural Business Support Project Manager, explained: “Following the success of the Rural Business Awards we’re now extending it to the whole of Conwy so we’ve got the whole of Conwy Business Awards.

“We’ve joined forces with Conwy Cynhaliol and food on the night will be provided by Naturally Conwy Valley.

“We’re truly blessed in rural Conwy with the fantastic array of produce. We have the right people and the right environment to produce a wide range of food and drink.

“The land, in the right hands, is ideal for raising high quality beef and lamb which is presented expertly by our local butchers. Seasonal fruit and vegetables flourish here too and the variety is remarkable.  We also have three rural breweries and a major yoghurt manufacturer, illustrating the strength in depth of our food and drink sector.

“Then there is the home grown talent creating new food and drink products all the time, with skill, passion and pride.

“The Conwy Business Awards is the perfect opportunity to showcase the talent and the produce and all we have in the Conwy Valley.

“It’s been the best kept secret up to now so we’re trying to push it as much as we can. We do need to shout it from the hill tops because what we have here is wonderful, not just for visitors but for also for local people who want local options.

“The support that all the producers are having from Conwy Cynhaliol is making a difference and this is a unique chance to put them directly in touch with local hotels, guest houses and restaurants.”

According to Laura Fisher, the Marketing Officer for the Conwy Cynhaliol project, a survey had revealed many of the local restaurants and hotels were buying their food from suppliers outside the area.”

She added:  “A lot of them said that they’d like to source their ingredients locally but that they didn’t know what was available.

“Our mission is to promote local produce not just because it supports the rural economy and communities, but because it is also a great opportunity for the local tourism sector to capitalise on the local identity. The quality of what Conwy is producing is amongst the very best.”

Mike Evans, who also competes for the Senior Welsh Culinary Team, has cooked for a whole host of VIPs including the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles, during his distinguished career.

He’s passionate about the importance of using local produce and sees the awards ceremony as the perfect shop window for what Conwy has to offer.

Mike said: “We’re going to get some students involved so they get an idea of running a function for 250 people.

“The food that’s available right on our doorstep is just fantastic, the quality and variety is just amazing.

“The whole idea of local sourcing and traceability is so much more important these days and I am convinced that our brilliant produce can help  provide a recipe for economic success in Conwy.”

For tickets to attend the evening please ring 01492 577835 or email

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