Chef Patron of Ynyshir, Gareth Ward talks to Chef’s Table
Gareth Ward is Chef Patron at Ynyshir, a Michelin star, four AA rosette restaurant and rooms which offers dining experiences featuring, in Gareth’s own northern dialect, ‘Alternative British Snap (food)’ packed with flavour. Its location between the Welsh coast and Snowdonia National Park means Gareth can handpick the best ingredients from Wales, and beyond, seeing the whole British Isles as his larder.
Gareth started his cooking career straight out of school aged 16, working in kitchens in the north east before deciding to move to Rutland and take a job at Hambleton Hall. Working in the 1 Michelin star kitchen for five years, he rose from commis chef to junior sous. When he decided to leave Hambleton he moved back north to work at Seaham Hall, which had just gained its star. He stayed here for two years before taking his first Head Chef role at Hart’s Restaurant in Nottingham, a part of the Hambleton family. Whilst here, he was awarded the city’s ‘Restaurant of the Year’ and gained his first 2AA rosettes.
Gareth’s next step was to move to Restaurant Sat Bains, which when he joined had 1 Michelin star. During his time here as Sous Chef, the restaurant gained its coveted second star and came in the San Pellegrino Top 100 Restaurants, whilst being a regular in the top 10 of the Good Food Guide.
In 2013, Gareth was ready to take the reins again himself and arrived at Ynyshir, then named Ynyshir Hall, as their new head chef. In his first full year, he was awarded his first Michelin Star and then gained 4AA Rosettes shortly afterwards, the only place in Wales at the time to hold the accolade, and the first time for Ynyshir. Success continued as Gareth was also noted as the Good Food Guides ‘Chef to Watch’, receiving 7/10 and placing the restaurant in the UK’s Top 50. Ynyshir was in the final two restaurants in the UK in the Cateys ‘Menu Watch’ and included in the Times Top 100 Restaurants, one of only 4 in Wales.
In September 2016, Gareth was made Chef Patron of Ynyshir, at which point he and his partner Amelia Eriksson, General Manager, made the decision to convert from a hotel to a Restaurant with Rooms, renaming the business as just ‘Ynyshir’. Gareth and the team are hugely passionate about using the best ingredients to create dining experiences that surprise guests with flavour on another level.
2017 has seen Gareth and Amelia continue working on the property’s refurbishment, with each stage moving Ynyshir further away from a traditional country house hotel, towards an exceptional destination restaurant with rooms. Favourite tables welcomed Ynyshir to it’s Unique Destinations programme early in 2017 and recently chatted with Gareth and asked the following questions:
What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question” An epic Sunday roast, cooked by me!
Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet) Maaemo in Oslo which was awarded 3 michelin stars in the last guide
How important is a Michelin star? For us and our location, it is very important – there has to be a reason to get people to come out to see us and having a star is the start of putting us on the map. To push forward to progress to 2 stars is our goal so that we could really turn Ynyshir into a destination for food.
What do you think about reviews? They are very important to spread the word and hopefully increase business.
Your Menu says “with a Japanese twist” how is this evident in the food and where did this influence come from. Our menus are very much about being British ingredient led and flavour packed, we just use a few ingredients that are of Japanese origin. These, such as miso, mirin and soy, are used because they allow us to get as much flavour out of the other ingredients, and are so light that you can still eat 20-courses and not be too full.
What is your favourite dish on the current menu/s in which you use produce from your most local supplier? Salt Welsh Wagyu Rib with Shiitake
If you could invite any Chef past or present to cook alongside you for one night who would that be and why? Alex Bond (who has just opened his first restaurant in Nottingham called Alchemilla) because he is a complete legend!
Favourite Tables…. Please give us the name of and why you dine there of two restaurants that you have visited a couple of times. If you know twitter, Facebook & web address please include
Alchemilla (www.alchemillarestaurant.uk) because Alex is doing some amazing things with home grown ingredients in a very cool space
Bar Iberico (www.baribericotapas.com) because I love eating small plates of things and the relaxed atmosphere it has.
Find Somewhere To Eat
- At the Chef’s Table – Jeremy Villanueva, Head Chef, Romulo Café London on
- We Chat to MasterChef Finalist Scott Barnard on
- Chef’s Table visits the Italian Embassy on
- BBC MasterChef Winner Jamie Scott – revisited on
- BBC MasterChef Winner Jamie Scott – revisited on
- #Win Tickets for You and a Friend to cook some great Thai Food on
- Favourite Tables Top Ten Restaurants
- War of the Roses, a foodie battle of epic “portions”
- Punjab Curry Supper returns to The Fox at Lyng
- Forget the Indian Summer, how about Christmas in a Tipi
- Look what we discovered in Soho…..
- Is this the “Perfect” answer to eating out on a Sunday with young children?
Find A Cuisine
About Favourite Tables
Our ethos is about places people love – always has been, always will be.
We know that most people choose where to eat based on recommendations from friends and family, a social interaction – a Social Marketplace
Favourite Tables is just that – our recommendations and reviews are from people who love where they go and go back to.
The popularity of each Favourite Tables restaurant is assured on the Social Marketplace and through the restaurant reviews they receive.
Best Restaurants In…
- Unique Destinations
- Restaurants in Wales
- Restaurants in Amsterdam
- Restaurants in Birmingham
- Restaurants in Brighton
- Restaurants in Cambridge
- Restaurants in Chester
- Restaurants in Edinburgh
- Restaurants in Glasgow
- Restaurants in Hull & Beverley
- Restaurants in Leeds – Bradford
- Restaurants in Liverpool
- Restaurants in London
- Restaurants in Manchester
- Restaurants in Melbourne
- Restaurants in Newcastle
- Restaurants in New York
- Restaurants in Nottingham
- Restaurants in Norwich
- Restaurants in Oxford
- Restaurants in Perth – Australia
- Restaurants in Peterborough
- Restaurants in Sheffield
- Restaurants in Singapore
- Restaurants in Sydney
- Restaurants Nr Windsor, Slough, Maidenhead
- Restaurants in York
- Reviews of Restaurants in Wales
- Reviews of Restaurants in Unique Destinations
- Reviews of Restaurants in Birmingham
- Reviews of Restaurants in Bolton
- Reviews of Restaurants in Cambridge
- Reviews of Restaurants in Dubai
- Reviews of Restaurants in Dublin
- Reviews of Restaurants in Edinburgh
- Reviews of Restaurants in Liverpool
- Reviews of Restaurants in London
- Reviews of Restaurants in Newcastle
- Reviews of Restaurants in Northampton
- Reviews of Restaurants in Prague
- Reviews of Restaurants in Sheffield
- Reviews of Restaurants in Sydney
- Reviews of Restaurants in Perth – Australia