CAW president Arwyn Watkins surprised Griffiths at the Chester Grosvener hotel where he works to award him the dragon trophy today (16 December).
The 26-year-old sous chef, originally from Gobowen, came third in the CAW competition last year. Next year, he will stand for Wales at the Worldchefs Global Chefs Challenge.
“A lot of hard work and organisation went into this competition”, says Griffiths, “and it’s amazing to win the national award for the country where I grew up and love.”
Griffith’s winning dish was an artichoke tart, seeds and apple granola, a ‘Surf and Turf’ main of Welsh Beef, braised bavette, black garlic and Menai oysters, and a dehydrated chocolate desert with figs and bay.
The competition looked very different this year due to the pandemic. Previously, six finalists battled it out in a singular venue. This time around the judges tasted the finalists’ dishes at their own workplace. Only four out of six were able to compete due to restrictions.
“Sam is going to be a star of the future”, says lead judge Nick Davies, senior culinary team Wales manager and chef trainer in hospitality, food and drink at Cambrian training.
“He demonstrated cutting edge skills and all his dishes had a theme and sensational flavours. He is at the right age, has learnt his trade in a great place and is definitely on the way up.”
As well as the trophy, Griffiths wins £1,000, a set of personalised Friedr Dick chef’s knives, and £250 worth of Churchill tableware products.