Young Flintshire chef to share secrets of top cooks

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A TEENAGE cooking sensation will be sharing the secrets of Britain’s best chefs at the Llangollen Food and Drink Festival.

Culinary whizz Luke Thomas, 16, has worked alongside celebrity chefs including Heston Blumenthal, Gary Rhodes and Brian Turner.

Now the youngster from Connah’s Quay is to spill the beans about their tricks of the trade at the event this weekend.

He will be cooking in the festival’s kitchen theatre and promises to bring some of the secrets learned from the masters.

Luke said: “I think festivals such as Llangollen are so important in promoting local food and that’s why I am so keen on doing them.

“We have some fantastic local produce here. The reason top chefs like Bryn Williams, from Denbigh, use lamb and chicken from here is not because it is Welsh but because it is so good.

“I love public cooking but it is different because we are trying to create something from the finest local produce that the people in the audience can go home and try.”

Luke, who this month will start working full-time at Simon Radley’s Michelin-starred kitchen at the Chester Grosvenor Hotel, is hoping to become the youngest ever Michelin-starred chef.

In the past he has cooked for Prince Charles and Princess Anne and has worked at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck restaurant.

Last year, aged just 15, he won the coveted Futurechef crown, beating competition from 7,000 young chefs.

He added: “Over the next three years I want to do some really intensive training and then get my own place and win a Michelin star within two years.

“I don’t know where it would be but it would be nice if it was in Wales to use all the excellent products we have here.”

Luke is a member of the Welsh Culinary Team and joining him at the Festival will be his team manager, Graham Tinsley, chef director of the Castle Hotel, Conwy, and the Nant Hall, in Prestatyn.

Festival director David Green said: “Luke is a fantastic talent and destined for great things and we are delighted to have him back here again – it just shows how committed he is to the food of his homeland.

“It is just another example of the way the Llangollen Festival is a showcase of the best we have in food and drink here in North Wales. We’re flying the flag, that’s why we do it.”

Visitors on Saturday and Sunday can look forward to more than 100 exhibitors as well as a large kitchen demonstration theatre, foodie forums, a beer festival, grow your own area, a new children’s food festival and other entertainment including traditional cider pressing demonstrations.

The festival will be open from 10am till 5pm on both days.

For more details go to www.llangollenfoodfestival.co.uk

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