A chef who has cooked for the superstars of stage and the sports field along with royalty and prime ministers will be making his debut at Theatr Colwyn this month.
Dai Davies will be stepping out from the kitchens of Bodnant Welsh Food Centre to take to the stage in Colwyn Bay on Monday, October 12, to serve up a rich menu of cookery, anecdotes and fun.
Known to the culinary world as Dai Chef, it’s the first time he’s appeared in a theatre, though he regularly showcases his cookery skills and unique recipe of tasty tales and banter – seasoned by over 40 years in the industry – on TV and at food festivals.
Dai, who is promising surprise guests on stage with him, said: “I’ve done my demonstrations in all kinds of places and last year prepared Welsh dishes for 150 travel industry bosses at the Cosmopolitan Hotel on the famous Strip in Las Vegas but this is going to be my live theatre debut.
“I’m looking forward to it immensely and will be producing some memorable dishes which I’ll be talking the audience through as I go along, giving them a flavour of my career and generally having lots of fun as we go.
“They’ll then have the chance to taste and comment on the food.”
From humble beginnings in Aberystwyth, Dai kicked off his four decades in the kitchen with a baptism of fire in some of finest restaurants in London’s West End.
That led him at the age of 21 to be the youngest chef saucier at the world-famous Carlton Club in St James’s.
Dai’s glittering career has also included some real highlights, such as cooking for the great tenor Luciano Pavarotti when he came to perform at Llangollen International Eisteddfod in 1995, the festival where he first started his singing career.
Dai has also cooked for royalty, lords, and prime ministers at Westminster, stately homes and grand European venues.
A few years ago Dai was made an Honorary Fellow at Glyndwr University for services to the catering industry.
When he was appointed as Executive Chef at Bodnant he saw it as the culmination of a long personal mission to champion the merits of Welsh food and describes it as his “dream job”.
The maestro in whites says he’s still putting the finishing touches to his menu for An Audience with Dai Chef on October 12 but he did reveal a few mouth-watering details.
He said: “I’ll be going down the Welsh lamb route and I’ll also be including things like goats’ cheese and lots of other lovely produce from Bodnant.
“I’m also thinking of doing something like apples poached in Welsh cider.
“I don’t want to give too much away at this stage because I want to keep the element of surprise on the night.
“I’m going to be helped on stage by my 10-year-old daughter Megan and often assists me at my cookery demonstrations.
“She’s turning into a real little star chef and has been highly praised for the Welsh cakes she makes to accompany the sample menus I’ve been preparing for the tour groups from America, who are now regularly visiting the Hayloft Restaurant at Bodnant as they make their way around the UK.
“I’ll also have Richard Edwards from the wine cellar at Bodnant doing a tasting and there will be some special guests whose identities I’m also keeping under wraps as I also want them to be a surprise on the night.
“I’m tremendously excited about doing the Audience with Dai at Theatr Colwyn Bay as I see it as another chance to prepare and talk about Welsh produce which is my big passion.
“If it goes down well I’m hoping that the show could become the first of many.”
Bodnant Welsh Food Centre managing director Chris Morton said: “Dai’s culinary demonstrations are great fun, and extremely popular with visitors to the centre.
“I know he’s also a real draw when he appears at food festivals with his cooking demo, so this a great chance to enjoy his many talents and pick up some kitchen and wine tips along the way.”
*An Audience With Dai Chef, Theatr Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, October 12, 7.30pm. Tickets 01492 872000, theatrcolwyn.co.uk