And so begins my busy year ahead...
March and April is always a busy time for me, I have my base to set up but also I have been busy in the background.
March sees me tapping birch trees for sap to allow me to make my wonderful birch syrup for use in desserts and then there are Gorse flowers and Morels to gather for the latter months and the leaner times when wild foods become a bit more scarce.
Morels - My first proper wild morels were found in late March of this year.
Gorse flowers - The painstakingly hard picking of these flowers is worth it and these are gently dried for use in my signature dessert Stack rocks. Gorse gives that wonderful creamy coconut flavour that sends me back to memories of being a young boy and running around the countryside pretty freely.
Then, theres the new and returning foraging and food guests as my firt proper bookings start to roll in, which is always a very exciting time for me as this is what I love doing the most, getting people out and about, teaching them about the wonderful Pembrokehshire coast and of course what we can find to eat.
Also my main passion is the cooking element where I can relly show off my skill as a highly trained chef.
Every year I try to refine my dishes and to bring them up another level and to also bring some new ideas to the fore. The two most important things to me in my culinary creations is to give people a sense of place in what they are eating and to try to pay homage to this wonderful country, but it all has to be sustainable and also flavour has to come first. All my ingredients come from Pembrokeshire and some wider parts of Wales, so I am very unique in this practice and at this level.
As I work alone my dishes can only have a few elements to them, but thise elements have to speak loud and proud.
Bread butter and pickles with cured and air dried lamb. The flat breads are proved for 36 hours and natural bread yeast culture is now 27 years old.
Wild garlic preserved in different stages of it life cycle.
Cured and air dried Welsh lamb leg.
Limpets - A strong flavoured mollusc mousse with seaweeds pickled in kelp vinegar.
Egg in the hedgerow - Springtime
Lobster and the shoreline - Pembrokeshire lobster and shoreline edibles.
Tea and Ice cream - Birch bark ice cream, ground elder twigs, early woodland shoots and hot birch tea.
Stack rocks - Gorse flower custard and ash meringue. A homage to the sea birds of the Pembrokeshire coast.
Chocolate cockle shells filled with sea buckthorn curd
There are other dishes that I didnt get time to photograph during the dinner, theres a Welsh seaweed broth, my take on the Japanese Dashi. For this I use kelp, my own dried fungi and semi dried sea buckthorn berries to make this highy flavoured stock and I serve it with scurvy grass and steamed sea radish, thats been lightly buttered.
Theres also an iced fermented crab apple juice and a fresh cheese with local honey as well.
Theres a lot more I want to achive with my food creations but for now these highly flavoured and eyecatching creations that my guests are raving over will do.
Bass Fishing 2019
My bass fishing season will start properly in Early May and I cannot wait to get back out chasing the silver.
My bass lure angling bookings will be kept to a minimum this year a lot of my regular guests are already booked in, so if you haven't already booked in then please do get in touch to avoid any dissapointment.
I have lots of other things going on in the background now and I want to concentrate more on these and turn my bass fishing into more of my hobby again, I haven't fished off my kayak in the last few years and I want to be able to try and take the chance to learn more about my environment both on and in the water and in other parts of the county and country too.
As always plese do get in touch for any element of these wonderful experience days that I have on offer.
My Foraging and food days will have to go up in price o the 1st of May by around £20 for two people.
You can still grab yourself a bargain before then if you want to join me for foraging and a very special dinner. Most foraging days alone are just as expensive as I am and thats without a high level multi course dinner in the evening. I also have to think of the gathering I do months ahead, the food prep in the days leading up to the day, the foraging day alone for me can sometimes be upwards of 15 hours work!.
Stay posted and happy fishing and foraging - Matt
Telephone - 07515380169