Its sundown on another wonderful main season at Fishing and foraging Wales.
This year has been really busy and has absolutely flown by and theres not been a great deal of time for me to get a blog post done over the recent months.
The truth is that Fishing and foraging Wales has really gone from strength to strength over the last few years, but this year has been exceptional.
Theres been successful pop ups in collaboration with friends, food festivals where I have been a speaker, giving cooking demos, a big highlight was collaborating with my good friends at Wrights food emporium for the 20th anniversary dinner at the Abergavenny food festival in September.
Fishing and foraging Wales is getting to a stage now where all the hardwork has started to pay off, I feel I am getting to a position where only a few years ago I could of only dreamed of.
I must also take this oppurtunity to thank everyone thats been involved with me this year for all their help and support.
The summer of 2018 saw us in the U.K having some of the best weather throughout for many years.
The weather was so settled that instead of being out chasing bass I took the oppurtunity to get underneath the water with my snorkelling kit.
This has been a real oppurtunity for me to learn more about my local areas, but it has also given me the gift of inspiration for my food creations moving forward.
Above - Gathering my own spider crabs by hand has been wonderful through the early summer.
The most exciting thing is though that I am getting to a stage where I feel happy with the dishes I am serving on the foraging and food days out.
In the peak of the season I was creating a twelve course dinner and this will now be more of my main focus moving forward.
This is not the plateau I want to finish at though, theres more to come from me to strive towards and to achieve. Theres plenty to be refined and I need to focus more to produce and to eloborate more and more my dream of continuing to create something not only for myself and my guests but to put the absolute emulation of "Wales on a plate" into full view.
The feedback this year has been awesome too and I can only strive to get better and better with the continued support of my regular guests and friends.
I am at the moment writing down a basis for each ingredient I pick and to utilise them in the best way I can, whether that ingredient picked is a Dandelion or the finest penny bun, trumpet of the dead or a piece of kelp.
How can I utilise these wonderful components and turn them into something even more sublime on their own or of course paired with other ingredients too.
The last five years have in my eyes been building blocks to moving forward with the food experience.
Above - A guest with A perfect Penny bun mushroom (Porcini or Cep).
Above - Trumpets of the dead, a wonderful name for a wonderful fungi.
The fungi this season has been unreal, after last years bad crops it was a real pleasure to be out this year. There has been so much fungi about it was like living in a dream.
Swathes of the best edible fungi have carpetted the woodland floors with horn of plenty, penny buns and charcoal burners being my mainstay.
Above - Penny bun, beech, hazelnut and rowan berries. A simple appetizer with the late summer and autumn in mind and in full culinary expressional glory. Its a real pleasure to be able to be able to utilise such amazing finds and emulate them on a plate.
This year has seen me taking small steps to take something as simple as a humble limpet to a whole new level.
Above - "Limpets" - Limpet mousse, marsh samphire, and pickled seaweeds.
Theres been quite a few comments aimed at me on social media about my food dishes being pretentiuos. I think the word pretentious in this case is being thrown at me without anyone actually understanding the meaning of the word and what it is I am actually doing here?
What I am trying to do is to take the best local ingredients and turn them into something sublime. I am not pretending to be anything else with my food creations, it is what it is.
"An extension and a gesture of the life I live and the environment in which I live in and work in."
The only ingredients I now use from outside Pembrokeshire or Wales is my black pepper, sugar and sometimes my scallops are comimg from Scotland when I use them.
Above - "It's a carrot, just a carrot" - Pembrokeshire Carrot cooked with hogweed seeds, carrot tops and carrot reduction.
Above - "Lobster and the shoreline" - The main course on the foraging and food experience days out.
Above - "Stack rocks" An egg filled with Gorseflower custard with Birch and ash meringue. A dessert that is based on the wonderful sea faring birds that nest on the cliffs of Pembrokeshire through late spring and early summer.
Above - "A gift from the woodland" - Acorn ice cream, biodynamic malted grain "soil", porcini and chocolate truffle. This is one of three desserts on the foraging and food experience in the late summer and autumn.
It has also been a real push for me to get lots of photos as I work alone and plating a 12 course dinner for up to six people at a time can sometimes be a real push. I had hardly any chance to get the DSLR camera out this year, so I found myself using my mobile phone camera a lot of the time, so many apologies if the photos I post over the next few weeks and months are not up to scratch.
I have lots of projects to work on in 2019 so I will only be taking a limited number of bass fishing clients out during the season.
So early booking is essential for that side of the business. I also want to try and enjoy my bass lure angling a lot more as a hobby again, this will also allow me to focus on the foraging and food days moving forward and onto the next level.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch to book in for next year and of course I sell gifts for your loved ones at Chritmas time.
Also if you are reading this then please do sign up for my blog posts at the top right of the Blog page. Or of course please do follow me on my social media channels.
Thanks for reading and Stay posted!!
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