A Taste of Wales at Wales v England
23rd February 2023, 12:41 pm By Principality Stadium
Welsh chef and Compass Cymru Culinary Ambassador, Bryn Williams has teamed up with Principality Stadium Head Chef, Ryan Jones to bring hospitality guests a unique menu that celebrates the best of Wales and Welsh produce at the upcoming Wales v England Guinness Six Nations match.
Welsh produce has been championed within culinary circles for years; and Bryn and Ryan have designed a Wales v England matchday menu that will transport guests on a mouth-watering journey across the coastal havens and mountain ranges of Wales.
Development of the menu has seen Bryn and Ryan take on a road show visiting Welsh food suppliers, farms and artisanal producers across the country including Norton Farm, a family run farm in Pembrokeshire that’s been producing potatoes for three generations; Castell Howell, producers of Celtic Pride Welsh beef; and Halen Mon sea salt fam in Anglesey, North Wales, the only British sea salt with a PDO (protected status).
When asked what makes Welsh produce so special, Williams attributes this to the climate and the information handed down through generations, “It rains a lot in Wales”, he states. “But that means we have great land, great soil, which means we can grow fantastic veg and have fantastic farmland.
“But it is also down to the farmers, the information that’s handed down from family to family, drip fed through the generations to each farmer that works the land. This menu is about going back to the raw roots, and bringing that product to life. As chefs, when you work with great ingredients, you will get a great meal, so it’s about the supplier and bringing it to our kitchen door.”
The menu has been carefully designed using only the freshest, seasonal ingredients and each course will showcase a variety of local suppliers and artisanal food producers, which will be detailed on the menu for each guest.
“For me local and in-season produce is very important. There is no comparison tasting something that’s freshly grown versus tasting produce that travelled for hundreds or sometimes thousands of miles. The flavour has no comparison,” says Principality Stadium Head Chef Ryan Jones, who strongly believes that as the National Stadium of Wales we have a responsibility to showcase Wales and Welsh businesses.
“Why would we want to serve food that’s flown in from overseas when we can buy local, from the likes of Pembrokeshire. We can source lamb from a small holding farm 20 miles up the road, and we source our beef from Castell Howell which is Celtic Pride, and sourced from three to four local farms in the area so the traceability is there.”
“Provenance is important, not just for us but for our guests. We recently visited the farm where we get our potatoes from, the butchery department where we’ve sourced the beef fillet for the main course, so for us to be able to share where the food has come from is an important part of what we do. Lots of food today is ready prepared so it’s nice to strip it back to humble beginnings and know where your food comes from.”
WRU TV shadowed Bryn and Ryan on their road trip across Wales and videos of each supplier visit will form part of an interactive menu exclusively for Platinum Plus box holders.
Tracey Maxwell, General Manager Principality Stadium Experience says, “We’re delighted to be working with Welsh Chef Bryn Williams, this upcoming matchday.
“Reducing food miles and sourcing locally is at the core of our business strategy at Principality Stadium. We have access to some of the best Welsh businesses and chef talent in the food and drink industry through our partnership with Compass Cymru and we strive to work with local suppliers where possible to promote excellent locally sourced Welsh produce.
“Last Autumn we launched our new hospitality space, The Riverside Terrace where each match we serve food from different street food vendors in Cardiff from Dirty Gnocchi to Tokyo Nights, and throughout the stadium’s internal food and beverage outlets we’ve introduced Welsh brand Tidy Like pasties which use only Welsh beef and Welsh produced vegetables; and this Six Nations we announced a fantastic partnership with Llantrisant based brewery Glamorgan Brewing who produce award-winning ales.
“Food tourism is vital to the industry in Wales, and as a Stadium, we attract roughly 1.3 million international visitors to the capital each year. It’s a joy to be able to use our platform to promote the growing food culture we have in Wales, and Welsh produce which has been cooked by Welsh chefs, or chefs trained in Wales.”
Supporting the next generation of hospitality talent in Wales is also an important part of investing in the local area. In the kitchen on matchday will be young chef Ben Newcombe, a Level 3 Hospitality student at Cardiff & Vale College, who recently represented Wales at the International Young Chef Olympiad 2023.
At age 17, Ben was the only chef to represent Wales in the competition this year, battling it out against competitors from 60 other countries for the winning title. He received sponsorship from Compass Cymru, which enabled him to take part in the competition as well as receive mentoring support from Compass Cymru’s Welsh chef network, including Ryan Jones and Bryn Williams.
Watch Bryn and Ryan’s road trip across Wales here.