MasterChef winner Wynne Evans has hosted a laverbread banquet in Pembrokeshire to celebrate a unique achievement, raising over £1,000 for the RNLI.
Mr Evans hosted the banquet at the Old Point House in Angle, to celebrate the Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company, which is based at the pub, achieving Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status for its Welsh Laverbread.
The event raised over £1,000 for Angle Lifeboat station. Wynne Evans is hugely passionate about Welsh produce and used laverbread in several of his Master Chef dishes.
“I was thrilled when Jonathan and the gang at the Old Point House invited me down to host the laverbread banquet simply because of the amount of support they've shown me throughout the MasterChef process,” said Wynne.
“It was most incredible. I would call the guys late at night asking for laverbread to be sent to the studios the next day and it would arrive just in time for me to cook for Greg and John. Laverbread is a fantastically versatile ingredient and now I make it a part of my everyday cooking - so that's why it was important to support the event.”
Owner Jonathan Williams, started gathering laverbread locally when he launched Café Mor, his award-winning street food outlet housed in an old fishing boat on wheels. The boat toured festivals in the UK and for many years sold its sought-after beef and laverbread burgers and crab rolls with seaweed butter from its permanent pitch at spectacular Freshwater West beach in Pembrokeshire.
Then, a couple of years ago, Jonathan decided to take on The Old Point House - a unique, closed-down pub and former pirates’ haunt - reached via a tidal causeway on Angle, Pembrokeshire.
It opened in 2022 after an extensive refurbishment and is now home to Café Mor, which serves food in its garden, and The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company, which makes a range of seaweed delicacies, from Welsh Caviar (dried seaweed) to seaweed ketchup.
Jonathan said: “To have Wynne Evans come down and celebrate this at the Old Point House is fantastic. He has been a great ambassador for laverbread this year and it really showcases how rich our food culture is in Wales.”
In gaining PDO status for his seaweed, Jonathan is helping to revive a long tradition of harvesting laver in the Angle area. He built his award-winning businesses around local seaweed and still gathers it himself.
“Laverbread is integral to the food history of Pembrokeshire and we are really excited that we have managed to achieve this status,” he says. “Angle itself has very strong links to this mysterious ingredient, with many families from Angle being involved in the collecting of the laver seaweed at nearby Freshwater West.
“The seaweed hut which inspired me to start Cafe Mor was a remnant of a thriving cottage industry where up to 20 seaweed huts stood overlooking Freshwater West in the early 20th century. These huts were locally known as ‘Little Angle.’”
PDO - Protected Designation of Origin, is a mark of excellence given to products that are characteristic of the region in which they are produced and are produced using specific, recognised processes.
“The PDO status ensures that our laverbread is 100% Pembrokeshire/Welsh and cooked to the highest of standards,” he says. “At the moment the Old Point House uses the laverbread in its seaweed butter, Lobster Welsh Rarebit and even in its Welsh cakes.
Jonathan is now keen to know whether he runs the only pub to hold PDO status for a product.