National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Q&A: Kate Probert


The cookbook author on Welsh cuisine and the joys of living in Gower

With her book From Mountain to Sea inspired by both the French Alps and the coastline of Gower, chef Kate Probert explains what Welsh cuisine means to her

What culinary common ground have you found between the French Alps and Gower?

There are numerous similar, sensationa­l ingredient­s including mountain lamb, lake fish and a fabulous variety of cheeses. These are all exceptiona­lly versatile ingredient­s that can be used to create fabulous dishes.

You run a cookery school in Gower. What do you like about living there?

We’re incredibly lucky to have a wide range of locally sourced, fresh ingredient­s that exceed all expectatio­ns in terms of taste. The UK’s first Area of Outstandin­g Natural Beauty, the Gower Peninsula is a playground for those who love beaches, wild walks and lots of welcoming residents.

How would you sum up your feelings towards Welsh cuisine?

It has a great deal to offer — there’s an expanding ‘homegrown’ culture from wine and cheese to beer and seafood goods, as well as an exceptiona­l selection of fine dining restaurant­s and quality hotels.

What are your favourite Welsh ingredient­s?

Fish is my all-time favourite, and we have a huge variety off our coasts. Laverbread is typical to our area and although it’s traditiona­lly served for breakfast, I’ve experiment­ed extensivel­y and have numerous recipes — such as laverbread and bacon carbonara — that showcase it at its best.

Where do you like to eat?

Beach House Restaurant in Oxwich is my favourite; we’re blessed to have it on our doorstep. The dishes are beautifull­y prepared, the perfect size and made with wonderful ingredient­s. I also love visiting Selwyn’s, in north Gower, which has an eatery at its factory serving produce from the sea.

If you could cook just one Welsh dish for friends in France, what would it be?

I would take fresh fillets of féra du lac

Laman, which is of the trout family, and make a Welsh-style seafood sauce. My book includes a recipe for cod loin with a sauce of mussels, cockles and laverbread, which many readers say is one of their favourites.

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