The gulf stream influence on West Wales generally means Spring starts ahead of most of the rest of the UK and winters tend to be milder than further east and north. The vivid green shoots of wild garlic are already starting to show amidst the wild bluebells and tree buds are starting to swell as the sap starts to rise and nature begins to stir for its annual and timeless cycle of renewal. So, it's no coincidence that I am teaming up once more with the wonderful people at Wrights food emporium on Monday the 9th of March 2020, and running a foraging day out from their wonderful base at Wrights in Llanarthne.
After joining me for a day exploring the local countryside and shoreline for some early season bounty, I will be preparing and serving an amazing dinner at Wrights. You'll have the choice of watching me prepare and cook what's been gathered paired with some wonderful locally sourced ingredients, or if the mood takes you, why not roll up your sleeves and get involved yourself. Getting your hands dirty is an excellent way to learn how to prepare and serve these wonderful ingredients yourself.
Wrights Food emporium is in the Towy Valley, a truly stunning place overflowing with a rich vein of Welsh heritage running through it. There are some stunning places to visit while you are in the area, for nature and history buffs alike.
So back to the foraging. There's a reasonable chance we will find early fungi such as scarlet elf cups in the woodland walk, and of course no shortage of plants such as sea radish and sea beet to name but two along the shoreline. In the hedgerows, there will be hedge garlic and other plants as well as the staple of wild garlic. I know wild garlic is very common, but there are plenty of delicious uses for it which I will be demonstrating and explaining. There will be a picnic served at lunchtime and plenty of time to discuss and review what we have collected. I'll be bringing along a selection of native seaweeds too, and once we return to Wrights I'll be talking you through the different types and covering just some of the ways I like to prepare and serve them.
And then we get to the dining experience, consisting of no fewer than 8 courses that capture the very best of what can be achieved from humble, forgotten ingredients treated with love and passion. These dishes are inspired by my deep affinity with the wilds of West Wales.
Lastly, and importantly, here's a bit more information about the event, together with details of how to book, courtesy of my very good friend and co-host for the day, Simon Wright.
A day foraging in the Towy valley in the fields, hedgerows, woodland and on the shoreline and then cooking and eating dinner with Matt Powell in the evening. All sessions are from 10 am until 10 pm and a maximum of 8 places are available each day.
All food is included in the price.
Monday, March 9th
Itinerary Begins with coffee and cakes between 10 am or 11 am with Matt at Wright’s.
Collect picnic lunch provided by Wright’s (or return to Wright’s for lunch depending on the weather).
We then go out on tutored foraging in the woods, hedgerows and shoreline with Matt.
In the evening cook up a wild feast with Matt at Wright’s and join Matt Powell and Simon Wright for dinner 8 people maximum on each date.
Matt Powell’s love and understanding of nature have been an inspiration to us at Wright’s in the last couple of years. Matt’s journey started out as a familiar tale for a talented chef graduating from catering school in Bridgend on a trajectory through top UK kitchens and eventually his own restaurant which is where I chanced on him well over a decade ago.
When I ran into him again a couple of years ago his wild side had taken hold and his relationship with the countryside had deepened - he is now making a living out of his foraging and fishing expeditions and his inspired cooking.
We’ve teamed up to offer a series of special days out foraging with Matt followed by a session cooking with Matt in the Wright’s kitchen and then dinner with Matt and myself.
Subject to availability we can offer accommodation in our self-catering cottages www.wrightsfood.co.uk/stay
Within walking distance of Wright’s Emlyn Arms, just a stone's throw away.
A couple of miles away is Llwynhelig Country House and Maes y Grove.
*We can arrange transport.
All Bookings are directed through Matt Powell only.
Matt can answer any questions you might have. To book contact, Matt give him an Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call him directly on the mobile 07308313107