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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2008, 17:17 GMT
Pub chef is crowned best in Wales
Neil Roberts (picture: Welsh International Culinary Championships)
Neil Roberts puts the finishes touches to one of this dishes
A chef at a pub in Powys has been crowned Wales' best after beating cooks from hotels and restaurants throughout the country.

Neil Roberts, of the Waggon and Horses in Newtown, beat three others to the National Chef of Wales title.

The 43-year-old was taking part in the Welsh International Culinary Championships in Rhos-on-Sea, Conwy.

Mr Roberts said it was not essential to be "a chef in a big, glamorous hotel to win this competition".

As well as a trophy he has won 2,000, which he intends to spend on a new air conditioning unit for his 40-seater pub and restaurant.

All four finalists faced a test of their skills and had to devise and cook a four-course menu in three hours from a mystery black box of ingredients.

Mr Roberts, who has run the Waggon and Horses with his wife Jackie for 13 years, was cheered on by supporters from Newtown. "It's great to bring the title back to mid Wales for the first time," he said.

"There was a little tear in my eye when I realised I was the winner.

"It just shows that you don't necessarily have to be a chef in a big, glamorous hotel to win this competition."

Carl Hammett, 36, sous chef at The Chandlery, Newport, was runner-up while the other finalists were Ben James, 24, from the Copthorne Hotel, Cardiff and Gerwyn Llyr Williams, 22, from Hotel Maes-y-Neuadd, Talsarnau, Harlech.

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