blank
Connect with us

Farming

Francesco and Chris share the Welsh Lamb love

Published

on

Top London TV chef Francesco Mazzei has been unveiled as the new PGI Welsh Lamb campaign ‘Lambassador’ for 2022.

As part of his ambassadorial work, Francesco recently undertook a very special visit to Wales, where he witnessed first-hand life on a Snowdonia hill farm and the story behind the Welsh Lamb that he cooks for his customers in London.

Advertisement

Born and raised in Calabria, Francesco started his food career very early when he worked at his uncle’s gelateria from the age of nine, and has since worked in restaurants all over the world, including Rome, Bangkok and London. A familiar face on television he has appeared regularly on the likes of James Martin Saturday Kitchen, MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen Italy, SnackMasters, and more recently on CNN with Stanley Tucci.

Since 2015, Francesco took up the position of chef patron at D&D Sartoria on Saville Row, Mayfair, with his other London restaurants Radici and Fiume soon to follow. He has also published his first cookbook, which specialises in southern Italian cooking, Mezzogiorno by Francesco Mazzei.

Chefs celebrate Welsh Lamb across the world for its versatility and fresh, delicious taste. Reared on grass in its unique, natural environment, it makes an exceptional product and befits any occasion.

Speaking about why he chooses to serve Welsh Lamb at his restaurants, Francesco said: “I am fascinated by Welsh Lamb and how the story behind it, so when I had the opportunity to see for myself how Welsh farmers look after their flocks, what the lambs eat and where they spend their day, it has made me appreciate it even more.

“I love cooking with Welsh Lamb because of the flavour it brings to each dish and it is particularly tender. It is fantastic to know I have this quality product on my doorstep, straight from the Welsh mountains. It is a great story to tell my customers and my chefs when I am at my restaurants in London.”

Advertisement

In addition to the farm visit, Francesco also teamed up with Welsh celebrity foodie Chris ‘Flamebaster’ Roberts, with the latter being given a masterclass in Italian cooking with a Welsh twist.

With Wales’ delicious, natural produce and Italy’s unmistakable cuisine, Francesco brings the two qualities together with a series of four delicious Welsh Lamb recipes that people can easily cook at home. Showing its versatility, the series ranges from a summery pan-fried involtini and the street food inspired pulled shoulder, through to a warming braised shanks risotto or sausage with polenta and Tuscan cannellini beans.

Speaking of his experience of cooking the recipes with Francesco, Chris said: “It was fantastic to witness first-hand how a highly experienced chef such as Francesco can really get the most out of the flavours and tenderness of Welsh Lamb.

“Simple, rustic cooking but done well and using the finest quality ingredients. There really isn’t a need to overcomplicate things and it was a pleasure to spend a few days cooking with him. A delicious fusion of Welsh Italian soul food at its best.”

The partnership with Francesco kicks off a series of activities throughout the year as Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales continues to highlight the fantastic work of Welsh farmers and their world-renowned produce.

Advertisement

In Wales, sheep are overwhelmingly reared on its natural resources, such as grass and rainwater, and 80% of its farmland is unsuitable for growing crops, thereby making raising livestock the most efficient way to turn marginal land into high-quality food. Furthermore, grassland in the Welsh hills captures carbon from the atmosphere, with farmers managing it through a combination of age-old traditional practices coupled with more modern methods.

Rhys Llywelyn, Market Development Manager for Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, added: “We know from our previous work with Francesco that he’s a passionate advocate of Welsh Lamb and we’re delighted to be working with him for this year’s campaign.

“As you can see from the four delicious recipes he’s created for us, when high-quality components like Welsh Lamb and Italian cuisine come together, it really is a match made in heaven, and I’d urge you to visit our website and try his dishes for yourself at home.”

You can follow Francesco’s recipes at eatwelshlamb.com.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Farming

Farming union anger at ‘oat drink’ only option on council’s stand at Eisteddfod… held on dairy farm

Published

on

By

Farmers Union of Wales has met with Ceredigion Council’s leader following concerns about the lack of a cow’s milk option for making smoothies on their stall at the Eisteddfod.

The union said that members of the public raised concerns to it about the lack of cow’s milk as a choice for children who were making smoothies on a stand run by Ceredigion County Council.

Advertisement

Discussions were held with the leader to understand the reasoning behind the decision to allegedly only offer oat drink, a dairy milk alternative, as a base for the smoothies

An FUW official said that the point was put to the leader that this year’s Eisteddfod was being held on a dairy farm, therefore could they offer an explanation for the dubious choice of using an oat drink from France rather than local fresh milk?

Speaking on behalf of the Farmers’ Union of Wales, the President Glyn Roberts said: “Ceredigion is one of the most famous counties in Wales for producing milk and the industry makes a huge contribution to the economy and culture of the county.

“The Eisteddfod Maes and competing is full of adults and children who come from dairy farms, as well as those who work in the milk industry and the feelings of disappointment and anger about the choice of using oat drink from France rather than local milk is plain to see.”

The Eisteddfod is being held this year on a dairy farm in Ceredigion (Image: FUW)

Although Ceredigion County Council claim that the decision to use oat drinks rather than cow’s milk was based on concerns around maintaining adequate and safe temperatures while storing milk, Mr Roberts said that there were serious concerns to answer about this excuse.

“The Farmers’ Union of Wales-like tens of other organisations-give out cow’s milk regularly on stalls at shows and events and have done so for decades-even at the Royal Welsh Show recently where temperatures soared higher than ever before.

Advertisement

“There is nothing out of the ordinary about the temperatures we are experiencing this week and so the question still stands, so why has Ceredigion County Council decided to promote oat drinks imported from France rather than locally-sourced milk of the highest possible quality?”

A spokesperson for Ceredigion County Council said in response: “The council has daily cooking demonstrations at the National Eisteddfod focusing on produce from various areas across the county, and offering tea to the public using a local dairy company, Llaeth Llanfair.

“There is also a range of opportunities for children, young people and families to keep fit and participate safely in inclusive and varied activities on the Maes.

“The smoothie bikes are an outdoor activity that requires the ingredients to be a product that can be kept out of the fridge for a while.

“In addition, the council needs to ensure inclusive provisions for children with allergies/intolerances, and this is done by offering drinks options that include cow’s milk, oat drinks, orange juice and water.

Advertisement

“The decision was taken following the advice of the council’s internal health and safety service due to the risk of children suffering an anaphylactic shock if they happen to have any food allergies.

“All drink options are now available to those who wish to participate on the smoothie bike activity.”

(Lead image: Ceredigion Council)

Continue Reading

Farming

Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society launch search for Ambassador-elect

Published

on

By

Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society are looking to appoint an Ambassador for 2023 to help support Officeholders in promoting and meeting the aims of the Society.

This voluntary role will shadow the 2022 Ambassador, Mrs Carys Phillips, at this year’s County Show and other Society events. They will also play an important role in the promotion of the work of the Society, the agricultural industry and rural life in Pembrokeshire. 

Advertisement

Anyone aged between 18 and 30 and residing in Pembrokeshire can apply for the role. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview on Tuesday, 16 August 2022, at the County Show office. The successful applicant will receive an allowance of £200 and membership of the Society for three years.

Mansel Raymond, Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society President, said, “The Ambassador role is an important one. In order to fulfil the role successfully the applicant must have excellent communication skills and an enthusiasm to carry out required duties. Knowledge of the Pembrokeshire Agricultural Society and the County Show is desirable. Last year was the first year we opened up applications to all and made the role inclusive to all.”

Carys Phillips was announced as Ambassador at last year’s County Show. Carys grew up on a dairy farm in Llys y Fran and now lives on a beef and sheep farm with her husband in Freshwater East. Carys is a primary school teacher at Ysgol Glannau Gwaun in Fishguard where she teaches years five and six in the Welsh stream.

A keen YFC member of Llys y Fran YFC for over 17 years, Carys was Chairman of the club for two years during the pandemic. She is Pembrokeshire YFC’s County Vice Chairman and also the Rally Queen. 

Carys has fond memories of having always attended every day of the County Show for as far back as she remembers. 

Advertisement

Carys said, “Being from a dairy farm we never went on holidays as a family but the County Show was our go to holiday. Having had many friends who have gained the Ambassador role in the past, it felt like the right time to go for it and give as much as I can give to the society.”

Carys added, “I hope to help as much as I can in supporting the Society. I’m hoping to bring a close connection between Pembrokeshire YFC members and the Society and think it would be a great achievement if we can work closely as two fantastic agricultural movements in Pembrokeshire. Hopefully, this will bring new and young faces to help the society and the County Show. Working together is key and hopefully we will make strong connections with the young farmers around our county.”

Those interested in applying for the position will need to complete the application form.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Carmarthen

Carmarthen producer wins best sausage in Wales award

Published

on

By

Red Valley Farm in Carmarthen is celebrating coming first in Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales’s ‘Put Your Best Sausage Forward 2022’ competition, with their wild garlic sausages crowned as the very best bangers in Wales.

Business partners Andy Washbourne and Graeme Carter were delighted with the victory, with the high-flying producers taking the coveted award for the second year running. As winners, they will now automatically qualify for the ‘Champion of Champions’ sausage competition at the UK-wide Butcher Shop of the Year 2023 awards.

Advertisement

Speaking after winning the title during a special event at the Royal Welsh Show, Graeme Carter said: “It really is an incredible honour to have our sausages named as the very best in Wales. Winning an award like this really makes all the hard work worthwhile and shows that our ethos of producing quality, small-scale and locally produced pork pays off in the end.

“We were really proud of our wild garlic sausages, but it’s still a pleasant surprise to win the title. We had a really good time at the final judging event and the fact that the standard was so high amongst all the shortlisted finalists just goes to show what a fantastic pork industry we have in Wales.

“Since taking over the farm from my parents a few years ago, specialising in rearing pigs has really turned into a passion for me and Andy. We were gifted one boar to help clear the ground following some tree planting and everything has literally grown from there. We just plan to go from strength to strength and concentrate on what we do best, which is quality, sustainably produced pork.

“We’re now really looking forward to be representing Wales at the ‘Champion of Champions’ sausage competition and hope to be crowned the best across the whole of the UK.”

Red Valley Farm pipped Haverfordwest’s Prendergast Butchers and Puff Pigs of Ynysybwl to the title, wowing the panel of judges including leading Welsh food personality Chris ‘Flamebaster’ Roberts.

Advertisement

Chris said: “Nobody likes a banger more than me and the quality of those that made the final meant it was certainly a pleasure to be on the judging panel.

“It’s always really tough to choose a winner when the standard is so high, but right from the off we were impressed with the wild garlic sausages. They looked the part, the consistency was spot on and they just tasted amazing. Having now had a sample of them I’m pretty keen to get my hands on the recipe myself to try and work out the secret of making sausages taste so good!”

Speaking about his delight at the standard of entries to this year’s competition, Rhys Llywelyn, Market Development Manager at Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, said: “It was fantastic to be back at the Royal Welsh Show to hold the awards and the standard of the three finalists certainly didn’t disappoint. However, in the end Red Valley Farm just about came out on top, so a huge congratulations to them and we wish them the best of luck at the UK ‘Champion of Champions’ finals.

“Our small-scale pork producers in Wales have a fantastic story to tell. They specialise in creating a unique, hand-reared product that is often only available to buy directly from themselves and local independent shops, like butchers. This makes it a more sustainable food product, generating fewer food miles, and I’d urge consumers to seek out their local producer and find out for themselves the fantastic quality that’s on offer.”

For more information on pork produced in Wales, and where you can buy it, visit porcblasus.cymru.

Advertisement

(Lead image: Patrick Olner)

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2021 Swansea Bay News