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Food Wales Top Twenty

Gareth at the RWAS with the Show President for 2010, Dai Jones (Llanilar)
Photo c. Chris Jackson, The Really Useful Marketing Company

Food Wales Top Twenty Chef Gareth Johns stars at Royal Welsh Show for the Co-op with Welsh Lamb.

Larger than life chef/proprietor of the Wynnstay Hotel Machynlleth shared recipes with the crowds at the Co-op Pavilion at the Royal Welsh Show at Builth Wells last week. His salivating dishes of his favourite Welsh lamb drew in crowds eager to taste the succulent delights.

Gareth who runs the Wynnstay with his brother Paul is hands on in the kitchen with a young brigade. Recently he made an appearance on Iron Chef which made a highly popular part of the series. He admits to liking Welsh food to the extent of occasional over indulgence, yet cooks and serves the best seasonal Welsh food from the most local ingredients in the popular hotel restaurant and bars.

We aim to give value for money at all levels at the Wynnstay from the bar and restaurant food through to comfortable accommodation. We aim to do things properly; for our pizzeria behind the hotel we imported all equipment from Italy and the pizzas were voted the best in Britain. We use all local ingredients from fishermen, foragers, gardeners, and the butcher who is renowned for best Welsh lamb and Welsh Black beef. Our offering is broad to suit a wide range of tastes and pocket, from simple bar snacks to a full dinner. Welsh lamb from the Cambrian hills is particularly good at the moment. The young new season’s lambs have fed well on the lush green grass of the natural hillsides and have a wonderful flavour and succulent texture. This recipe just adds a delicate amount of spices which elevates the flavour even further.’

Spice-rubbed Cambrian Lamb with crushed potatoes and Sunstream Tomato Fondant
Serves 4
4 Chumps of Cambrian lamb
1 pack Sunstream tomatoes, quartered
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Olive oil for frying
1 tablespoon Co-op cider vinegar
A little vegetable stock or water
Spice rub: 1/2teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, a little
vegetable oil for mixing.
For the crushed potatoes
300g charlotte potatoes, peeled
1 onion, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
200g Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
2 tablespoons olive oil
100ml vegetable stock
8 black olives, roughly chopped
20g chives, chopped

Mix together spices with 1-2tsp of vegetable oil, and rub all over lamb Cook the potatoes until tender, for about 15 minutes.

Season and sear the lamb on both sides using a griddle pan on high heat. Place on a tray, cook in a hot 200C oven for 5-10 mins depending on desired degree of doneness, and allow to rest.

Meanwhile, fry the onion and garlic in 1 tbls oil until soft, add tomatoes, vinegar, water and a little seasoning, and cook until tomatoes are soft, but not mushy (about 5 min.) Keep warm. When the potatoes are ready drain and dry a little in their steam.

In a frying pan over a medium heat fry the onion for 2-3 minutes then add the garlic and cabbage and continue cooking for 2 minutes before adding the vegetable stock, continue cooking for a further 2 minutes.

Add the potatoes to the cabbage with the chives and black olives, season with a little salt and milled pepper and lightly crush.

Carve the lamb, place onto the crushed potatoes, and top with tomato fondant.


Gareth Johns is one of Colin Pressdee’s Food Wales Top Twenty Chefs for best seasonal menus. He is the Chef/proprietor of the Wynnstay Hotel, Machynlleth.

Visit www.wynnstay-hotel.com

To read the latest seasonal food news follow the link:


Media enquiries, and to arrange a visit to the Wynnstay please contact Colin Pressdee on 07768 948339 or email Colinpressdee@aol.com

Food Wales Top Twenty

Photo c. Chris Jackson, The Really Useful Marketing Company