We are once again launching a new culinary challenge to celebrate the start of the Welsh Year of Discovery. The challenge will once again look to raise awareness of the great food scene in our region, whilst supporting our local dine-in eateries during a traditionally ‘quiet’ period in the new year.

For restaurants, the challenge will be to develop at least three tapas dishes or small plates using local North East Wales producers that will each play on the senses and help diners learn more about the 2019 Year of Discovery in Wales.

For cafes / tearooms, the challenge is slightly different and encourages the design of a dessert which again uses as much local North East Wales produce as possible, plays on the senses of those who buy it and incorporates a possible reason to discover our region.

YOTS Winner Photograph 2018
Winner of the 2018 “Year of the Sea” competition, Jack Hately from Gales in Llangollen

The Challenge


Taking place between 18th January – 13th February, eateries across the region will have their entry available each day whilst they also will receive two mystery dining visits that will score their entry, how it is promoted and how it matches the entry criteria.

The two highest scoring dishes from each category will then be invited to a cook-off at the end of February with prizes including the associated publicity, a stand at the Wrexham Food & Drink Festival in September and other commercial event opportunities throughout the year.

Speaking about the event, Sam Regan, Chair of the This Is Wrexham Tourism Partnership and owner of the Lemon Tree Wrexham said;

“These food challenges are always popular across the region and offer all of the businesses some great publicity at the start of the year.  We have a thriving dining scene here in North East Wales and we’re also really thankful that Welsh Government have continued to support the tourism team in delivering events such as these which support our local industry.”

How to enter


If you are a chef or run a local eatery within Wrexham, Flintshire or Denbighshire and wish to take on the challenge, you’ll need to forward details of your dish to tourism@wrexham.gov.uk by 9.00am on 16th January.  This should include the name of the dish, details of all suppliers to be used and any other details you think will make your dish stand out.  As entries are limited to twelve per category, you’ll be notified within 24-hours and if successful, you MUST attend a short press launch event on 16th January at 2.30pm in Llangollen.

Details of all dishes entered into the challenge will be published on 17th January and be available to view at www.northeastwales.wales and on the @NthEastWales tourism social media channels on the same date.