Acclaimed Michelin Star chef, Gareth Ward, of Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms has been unveiled as Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales’ new PGI Welsh Lamb ambassador for 2021-22.
Regularly cited as one of the most exciting chefs cooking in the UK today, his Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms is the most highly-awarded in the whole of Wales, boasting a Michelin star, five AA rosettes and being named in the top 5 of the Good Food Guide (as well as being named their chef of the year for 2019). Gareth takes pride in the fact that for him there are “no rules, no guidelines” as he continues to build on the startling success in turning a remote – yet beautiful – location in mid Wales into a leading food destination in its own right, and all in a relatively short space of time.
The unveiling of Gareth comes as Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, the Welsh red meat levy body, launches its annual campaign under the ‘Uniquely Welsh. It’s in the taste’ banner. As part of his work, Gareth has created a series of exclusive recipes and accompanying videos that will be launched online on Lamb Day – 1 August – allowing consumers to get a taste of what it takes to cook a dish inspired by a Michelin starred chef. Also hosted on the dedicated masterclass web page will be some of his hints and tips to help people get the best out of the unique characteristics of Welsh Lamb from the comfort of their own kitchens.
For Gareth, he’s a strong advocate of Welsh Lamb because for him, it’s part of the nation’s DNA to produce it: “It’s the passion of the farmers, the land their livestock are reared on and the grass that they eat – all these combine to create a unique product. I get a particular enjoyment from cooking it because I see the passion and dedication of the farmers – week in, week out. Producing it is central to their life and all this comes through in the flavour. Being fully traceable to the farm where it was reared is also so important and pretty special.
“As well, being so versatile allows you to experiment with different flavours and cooking methods. You’ve got several braising cuts, others that you can cook nice and pink or go for the ribs. You can use the fat or dabble in the offal cuts, with lamb hearts being incredible. And that’s even before you get to legs and a delicious Sunday roast. It’s amazing to think that you can do all these different things with it.”
Rhys Llywelyn, Market Development Manager for Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, added: “We are delighted that Gareth is joining our campaign this year as our Welsh Lamb ambassador. As we know from the success he’s been having at Ynyshir, Gareth’s an extremely talented chef and his approach to the dining experience is truly unique – just like our Welsh Lamb.
“We hope those at home make the most of this valuable resource over the coming weeks and months and get an insight into how to make high-quality Welsh Lamb dishes from the comfort of their own homes.”