Top chef Dai flying the flag for Welsh food... in Vegas


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

A CHEF who wowed opera legend Luciano Pavarotti is heading for Las Vegas to sing the praises of Welsh food.

Dai Davies from Wrexham will showcase the very best in gastronomic delights to an audience of 150 people in the US gambling and entertainment mecca.

He is an official ambassador for Welsh food, which has led to the invite heading a special event bringing a taste of Britain and Wales to Vegas on September 14.

He is an Honorary Fellow of Glyndwr University, and was previously at Bryn Howel Hotel in Llangollen. While there he experienced cooking for the late Luciano Pavarotti when he stayed there for the Llangollen International Eisteddfod.

Mr Davies said: “I’ve been asked to Las Vegas to lead the event showing off the best of British food to America.

“It’s going to be staged at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, which is right on the famous Strip. There will be around 150 people in the audience who are all very influential and involved with the travel trade.

“That means the event will be the perfect opportunity to get the message across about the marvellous food we have here.

“I’m extremely proud to have been chosen to represent Britain and I’ll be the main pivot of the whole thing which will last for six to eight hours.”

He added: “I’ll be doing a food preparation demonstration and – just like I do at big food events at home like the Hamper Llangollen food festival in October – I’ll work on camera while close-pictures of me working are shown on a big screen.

“There will be a dozen other head chefs from hotels all over Las Vegas working at preparation stations dotted around the big main room and the idea is for them to replicate what I’m doing for groups of people gathered around them.

“The important thing is that everyone will get to sample the dishes we prepare afterwards.”

Mr Davies was recently appointed to his “dream job” as the resident chef in the Hayloft Restaurant at Bodnant Welsh Food in the Conwy Valley.

He added: “I’m still working on exactly what I’ll be showcasing but it will be something that provides the perfect taste of the very best of Britain, Wales and Bodnant too.

“That’s because I’ll be taking with me to Vegas as much produce from Bodnant as is practicable on a 12-hour transatlantic flight.

“I’ll definitely be starting with a fresh pineapple carved in the shape of a daffodil on a base of our Welsh cheeses, including Aberwen – one of the smoked cheeses from Bodnant.

“My main dish will be either a delicious cut of Welsh lamb or black beef served with mushrooms and flamed with Welsh whisky.

“I’ll round the whole thing off with a yoghurt laced with Welsh vodka, which should really set American taste buds tingling.

“I’ve done cookery demos for many years across Wales, Britain and Europe, including all the big food festivals in Belgium, France and Germany, but this will be the first time I’ve done anything like this in the States. I’m very proud to be taking a taste of my country to Las Vegas.”

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