I must apologize to all my followers its taken me ten days over the new year period to get a blog post up. So a very happy 2018 to you all.
I have been busy with full time work over Christmas building up the funds and theres just not been enough hours in the day to do much writing. Fishing and foraging Wales continues to grow and its becoming harder to try and keep up with everything.
Its been a mixed winter weather wise here in Wales. We have had some snow on higher ground and its always nice to get out in the cold and have a good walk when I get the chance.
Next week I will be gathering scarlet elf cup fungi and also wild garlic for preserving in readiness for the busy times ahead.
I love hunting for these early edibles. The colour of bright green and the wonderful scarlet colour of the elf cup's is a great sight to see on the now bare winter time woodland floor. I do like the scarlet elf cups. I gently cook them as I do with all my fungi and I really like the texture. The taste almost reminds me of bacon for some strange reason. Mind you I do have a pretty refined palate.
I love to create new dishes at this time of year and I will be busy in my small kitchen trying out new things. As a creative chef it's important I keep trying out new things and to keep writing new ideas down.
"Limpets" will be a new dish added to the early spring dishes for the foraging and food days for the foreseeable future.
They won't be served as a whole "meat", but I have learned to extract the essence of the limpet to make it edible.
In all honesty I don't know how our neolithic ancestors could eat vast amounts of these aquatic gastropods in their whole form.
I know early humans had to eat to survive but these wonderful and fascinating creatures are never going to win anything in the texture or looks awards. I have tried slow cooking limpets at different temperatures and for long periods of time, but theres no way you can get them to go soft.
The best thing to come out of them is a wonderfully rich juice which can be made into something spectacular. The limpet will be just one element of the new appetizer dish with another two tastes added to enhance things.
I have really found working alone over the last few years that a few simple elements executed extremely well is the way to go. I don't have one chef to each guest that sits down to the food experience like a lot of the top places do. The food still has to compete and be up there with the best in the business though and there is only one way to achieve perfection when working on your own. The key is to refine, execute well, be confident in the power of the best ingredients and also to produce something a bit original too.
The wonderful morels (Above - Morchella esculenta) which I think are the best edible fungi of all, will also be here soon if the weather and soil temperature allows on my patches.
If your interested in a foraging day where we may be able to focus on finding these wonderful edible fungi then please do get in touch.
Just one of the dishes below that celebrates the coming of spring in all its glory - Slow cooked duck egg yolk, morels and hedgerow greens, morel sauce.
Soon it will be time to chase these wonderful fish again.
I have a few new lures to test out from Lure Fishing for bass UK, these and some other new lures will be taken through their paces.
As a guide you kind of work with what you have done since day one. With some trialing out on the side when time allows. I would never let a guest experiment with something I don't think will work or I haven't put the hours in with myself. I think its important to test lures out thoroughly though and when I can, and if it works for me consistently then I will post it up on this new blog.
I don't start taking people out for the bass until Early May when things become a bit more consistent. And the water temperature starts to come good. I don't think its fair to take paying guests out before this time as I wouldn't feel I was doing them justice at all.
Theres some great times to be had in what is one of my favourite months for both bass fishing and foraging.
Catching and seeing these wonderful fish is always a pleasure but theres no feeling for me than seeing these fish swim back off into the sea again.
Thanks to my very good friend David Miller for letting me use the sand eel photograph above.
It won't be long until the sand eels are hatching in good numbers, I will be on the shoreline watching the bass smashing these mainstay of their broad diet. There are many great days for me to look forward to this year with my friend David miller at David Miller Art
Anyway a short blog post for now.
Please do get in touch with me for any enquiries for booking days out for any of the wonderful experiences I am offering here. Booking are now coming in daily and I do not want to leave anyone dissapointed.
All the very best and I hope 2018 is a great year for you all even if you cannot find the time to join me this year.
Please do stay posted for the next blog post.
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