The Flavours of Italy Enhanced by the Seafood of Wales

Students at The Chefs’ Forum Academy at Coleg Gwent were treated to a special crab masterclass this week by ex-Great British Menu chef Cindy Challoner.

Cindy, Head Chef at The Old Custom House in Penarth, decided a risotto was the best way to bring out the special qualities of Welsh crab.

“Welsh crab is a joy to work with,” Cindy told The Chefs’ Forum afterwards. “It’s local to us in Wales and it’s an outstanding product. Because of the nature of the coastal waters the crab meat has a delicacy and a sweetness that I thought perfectly suited a risotto. The students agreed! I was very pleased with the result and also by how much the students enjoyed it and enjoyed working with an ingredient as good as this. It was a proper treat!”

The crabs were supplied by the Welsh Seafood Cluster. Chris Parker, Seafood Cluster Manager South Wales said:

“Obviously I’m biased because this is a Welsh treasure but the feedback, we are getting from our efforts to promote Welsh seafood is showing us that chefs all over the UK and beyond are realising what a bounty there is from the Welsh coast and we are seeing an uptake in demand. This is really encouraging for our fishermen who really care about the catch and protecting it.”

Coleg Gwent Chef Lecturer Gavin George agreed: “This was a masterclass in every sense,” he told The Chefs’ Forum. “The freshness and the flavour of the crab was amazing; Cindy was brilliant and the students enjoyed every mouthful. But, more than that, they were able to work alongside a top young chef and experience a product like Welsh crab. It was a top day and we’re so grateful to the Chefs Forum Academy for arranging this. The students learnt so much from one class.“