Talented young chef is cooking up a storm

Posted on by karen.smith

Talented Steven Owen, who is making a name for himself as Head Chef of a recently opened village pub restaurant in Mid Wales where his regular customers include ITV weather girl Sian Lloyd, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Steven, 19, from The Bull and Heifer, Bettws Cedewain, near Newtown, is one of 28 finalists in nine categories of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, organised by the Welsh Government in partnership with the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW).

The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru recognise the outstanding achievements of learners, employers and providers involved in the delivery of quality Apprenticeships across Wales. Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes in Wales are part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

The winners will be announced at a high profile awards presentation ceremony at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on Wednesday, October 24, where the winners of the National Training Awards for Wales will also be recognised. The joint awards which will be attended by around 300 key stakeholders from the vocational education and training sector across Wales.

Sponsor of the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which aim to showcase excellence in skills development in Wales, is Pearson and media partners is Media Wales.

Steven has recently completed his Apprenticeship in Professional Cookery, which was delivered by Coleg Powys in Newtown and is looking forward to developing his career and possibly expanding the restaurant.

He began his apprenticeship in September last year at the Waggon and Horses, Newtown under the guidance of former National Chef of Wales winner Neil Roberts.

He had previously enjoyed a 200-hour work experience placement at the Waggon and Horses as part of his college course and worked there at weekends for several years, starting as a pot washer.

“I was given a fabulous opportunity in November 2011 by owners Gwyn and Ann Evans to be involved in the opening of the new restaurant,” he said. “I have used all the knowledge and skills that I have gained during my three years at college to design menus incorporating local and seasonal produce wherever possible .The feedback I have received is very positive.”

The Bull and Heifer is now one of the most successful new businesses in the area. Such is the demand for a table in the 35-cover restaurant that reservations are taken for up to three weeks in advance.

Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said: “These awards recognise excellence by individuals, employers and learning providers in delivering training. I am delighted with the standard of this year’s finalists and the variety across all ages and sectors, which shows the strength of the skills being delivered in Wales.

“All the finalists have an inspiring story to tell and are great ambassadors for apprenticeship and other programmes in Wales.

“The skills acquired through programmes, such as Apprenticeships, provide great benefits to individuals and employers, helping make Welsh businesses more competitive.

“The Welsh Government is committed to creating more apprenticeship opportunities for young people in Wales and continuing to support employers who are willing to offer high quality apprenticeship places.”

The NTfW is a network 116 quality assured work based training providers with links to 35,000 employers across Wales.

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