Paid Post – Michelin-starred dining at the edge of Snowdonia


We’re actually at the end of nowhere. You’ve got to go through the middle of nowhere
to get here. You’ve gone all the way through deepest, darkest
Wales, hill, mountains, everything. And then you’ve ended up here. I’m Gareth Ward and I’m the chef-owner of
the beautiful house behind us, Ynyshir Restaurant with rooms. I didn’t want to be a cook, but the only job
that came to mind was going into a kitchen. And from there I just fell in love with it. I remember the first time I walked into a
Michelin star restaurant. I remember walking into the kitchen and thinking
oh my god. The smells, the ingredients that you were
seeing were like nothing you’d ever seen before. We very much saw it as a restaurant with rooms,
right from the beginning, rather than a hotel with a restaurant in it. People will travel anywhere for food, whatever
time of year. It’s kind of taking the very classic idea
of a tasting menu, and creating – instead of separate dishes, it’s a whole journey from
start to end. You’ve got a set menu, you’ve got 20 courses.
This is not your everyday restaurant. You wouldn’t come here for your tea three
times a week. It’s all about experience. You’re not just
going for a meal. You’re going for a whole evening that you’re
looked after, right from the moment you walk through the door, you’re part of the Ynyshir
experience. It’s a bit like being at a gig. Loud music,
loads of chefs bombing around, loads of food. You’ve got the first course, which is the
Not French Onion Soup. That’s been here from day one. You’ve got
the Wagyu beef courses. The salt rib on there with shiitake mushrooms
and seaweed. That is unbelievable. You’ve got the mackerel dish with the wasabi
and seaweed. That will never go anywhere. In terms of the wine list, we’re not doing
wine pairings. We’re just going to open up the whole list
and let anyone have anything they want by the glass. People go on all the time, have you trained
in Japan or something? I’ve never been. I just say it’s British food
seasoned differently. Meat is amazing. It’s my favourite. And that’s what I’m obsessed with. At the moment, I get Welsh beef and it’s incredible. My lamb comes from all over these hills next
to us and I can get it from three, four, five different people. The location forms literally everything. It kind of leads to the whole ageing processes,
the storage processes, the fermenting, the foraging what’s there. Things that we do forage are the really tasty
things that I believe in. And they grow around us, which is amazing. I haven’t got to buy it from anybody, I can
go and pick it. We’ve got birch trees around here. We tap them and make our own birch syrup. You’re touching amazing ingredients, you’re
trying to get the best flavour out of things. Yeah, it’s just obsessive, it’s really, really
obsessive. So if I’m enjoying myself and I’m giving 100%,
then the customers are 99.9% going to have a great time. It’s very laid back, that’s what it’s all
about for me.

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