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MasterChef winner Wynne Evans hosts banquet at Old Point House

MasterChef winner Wynne Evans at the Old Point House. Credit: Owen Howells

Owner Jonathan Williams is reviving an age-old tradition of harvesting seaweed at Angle – and is now keen to know whether he runs the only pub to hold PDO status for a product.

MasterChef winner Wynne Evans has hosted a laverbread banquet at the Old Point House on Angle, Pembrokeshire, to celebrate the Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company, which is based at the pub, achieving Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status for its Welsh Laverbread.

The event raised over £1000 for Angle Lifeboat station. Wynne Evans is hugely passionate about Welsh produce and used laverbread in several of his Master Chef dishes.

PDO – Protected Designation of Origin, is a mark of excellence given to products that are characteristic of the region in which they are produced and are produced using specific, recognised processes.

“I was thrilled when Jonathan and the gang at the Old Point House invited me down to host the laverbread banquet simply because of the amount of support they’ve shown me throughout the MasterChef process,” said Wynne.

“It was most incredible. I would call the guys late at night asking for laverbread to be sent to the studios the next day and it would arrive just in time for me to cook for Greg and John. Laverbread is a fantastically versatile ingredient and now I make it a part of my everyday cooking – so that’s why it was important to support the event.”

Now Old Point House and Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company owner Jonathan Williams wants to find out if any other pubs produce PDO products.

“As far as I know we’re the only pub to achieve this – but I’m keen to know if there are any others out there. Depending on the products produced, maybe we could collaborate!” he said.

Jonathan reopened The Old Point House after extensive refurbishments at the former pirates’ haunt, which is reached by a tidal causeway. The pub has become a base for his three other businesses: The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company, which produces a host of seaweed delicacies; Cafe Mor, the street food outlet – a fishing boat on wheels – where his seaweed journey began; and Barti Rum, a unique, seaweed spiced rum.

In gaining PDO status for his seaweed, Jonathan in helping to revive a long tradition of harvesting laver in the Angle area.

“Laverbread is integral to the food history of Pembrokeshire and we are really excited that we have managed to achieve this status,” he says. “Angle itself has very strong links to this mysterious ingredient, with many families from Angle being involved in the collecting of the laver seaweed at nearby Freshwater West.

“The seaweed hut which inspired me to start Cafe Mor was a remnant of a thriving cottage industry where up to 20 seaweed huts stood overlooking Freshwater West in the early 20th century. These huts were locally known as ‘Little Angle.’”

Jonathan built his award-winning businesses around local seaweed and still gathers it himself.

“The PDO status ensures that our laverbread is 100% Pembrokeshire/Welsh and cooked to the highest of standards,” he says. “At the moment the Old Point House uses the laverbread in its seaweed butter, Lobster Welsh Rarebit and even in its Welsh cakes.

“To have Wynne Evans come down and celebrate this at the Old Point House is fantastic. He has been a great ambassador for laverbread this year and it really showcases how rich our food culture is in Wales.”