Whether it’s strawberries or elder, seaweed or seafood, lamb and beef, Wales is a purveyor of excellent produce — and a beautiful part of the world to boot. What’s more, there’s never been a more exciting time for the local restaurant scene, with an array of interesting chefs now choosing to base themselves in Wales, many of whom have passed through my kitchen.
Where to eat
Right on the harbour in Aberaeron, Cardigan Bay, this place is all about local ingredients and — of course — fresh seafood. It also does wine tasting nights once a month.
The Granary, Powys
Headed up by Seamus Russell, who used to work in our kitchen, The Granary focuses on really creative dishes such as hispi cabbage ‘tacos’ with prawn, lime and cucumber, or pig’s head with squash, caviar, fermented barley and kelp.
Llys Meddyg, Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire has so many good places to eat at the moment. At Llys Meddyg, the menu draws on quality Welsh produce — most ingredients come from within a 50-mile radius. In the summer, it also runs the adjoining Kitchen Garden restaurant, which opens on to a secret garden.
Wales’ finest produce
The lamb from Rob Rattray’s butchers in Aberystwyth is the best. The animals are well treated and that comes across in the flavour.
Dyfi gin, produced just outside Snowdonia National Park, is perfect with tonic. Danny and Pete Cameron create all the gins themselves.
From a farm in Montgomeryshire, Welsh wagyu is aged for over 260 days to intensify its unique taste and marble-rich texture.
Gareth Ward is chef patron at Ynyshir, a Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms in Powys, close to Wales’ west coast. ynyshir.co.uk
Published in the October 2018 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)