22/12/2009 - 00:00
The captain of the Welsh National Culinary Team has given a glowing endorsement to a training programme that is designed to benchmark skills in the catering and hospitality industry in Wales.

Wayne Roberts, executive chef at Portmeirion Hotel, Portmeirion, is an examiner and mentor of the Applied Ability Award (AAA) programme, which aims to drive up standards in the hospitality and catering industry in Wales by improving the skills of existing and aspiring chefs and cooks. The programme in Wales is fully funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and delivered by award-winning training provider Cambrian Training Company in partnership with Tourism Training for Wales. Learners are mentored by experienced chefs and have access to an online virtual chef channel to support the learning in preparation for the exams. The exams are designed and delivered by chefs for chefs, with the UK chefs bodies all working together via the AAA National Committee as governing body. Mr Roberts is mentoring six chefs at Portmeirion Hotel, two of whom have achieved the AAA Foundation Chef Certificate and are progressing to the Chef award. Sion Wellings and Martin Williams passed the AAA examination held at Coleg Powys, Newtown last month. "I think the AAA programme is fundamental to raising standards within the catering and hospitality industry in Wales," he said. "It takes me back to when I was doing my apprenticeship and I would certainly recommend it to other establishments. "My chef training plan at Portmeirion is now totally in line with the AAA programme, so that chefs are not confused when they take the examinations. "I have gained a lot myself from the experience of being an examiner, which has helped me to become a better mentor." At last month's exams, three Ceredigion chefs - Aerona Davies, of Aberystwyth Day Centre, Susan Owens of Llangybi School and Dafydd Davies, of Falcondale Hotel, Lampeter - achieved the Applied Ability Award (AAA) Chef Certificate, which recognises the professional standard expected of an accomplished kitchen and larder chef working without supervision. Only 10 Welsh chefs have achieved the AAA Chef Certificate to date. In addition, Kirsty Foulston from Treehouse, Aberystwyth, television Master Chef contest semi finalist Ludovic Dieumegard from the Red Bull, Newcastle Emlyn and Matthew Lewis, Claire Barrell, Jamie Lewis, Adam Tudor and Mark Parry Jones, who all work for S. A. Brains, achieved the AAA Foundation Chef certificate. Ruth Morris, AAA co-ordinator in Wales, revealed that 211 chefs and 65 mentors had now been registered on the AAA programme. "All the chefs have really enjoyed the programme and are committed to developing their skills and continuing to drive up high standards in the catering and hospitality industry in Wales," she said. "By achieving the awards they are benchmarking their skills and representing the establishments where they work. The AAA programme can only improve food preparation and cooking within Wales and give our talented chefs the credit that they deserve." For more information about the AAA programme, Mrs Morris can be contacted on Tel: 07989 470899 or by e-mail at aaa@cambriantraining.com or visit www.greatbritishkitchen.co.uk/aaa

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