HEAD chef, Matt Waldron, has been preparing to battle against multi-Michelin star Gordon Ramsey in a heated culinary cook-off on the shores of Stackpole.
The pair filmed the episode “Wales Tales” for Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted Showdown, in which viewers will see them suspended from a helicopter, fishing from a teacup-sized boat, discovering local cheese aged in a mine, and harvesting seaweed directly from the seas of Pembrokeshire.
After gathering their ingredients, the two chefs will compete to create the winning dish.
This will be home soil for Matt who has been head chef at the renowned Stackpole Inn since the summer of 2019.
Matt said: “It’s going to be a great chance to explore how Wales’s working class roots have shaped the ingredients that are used today,
“But the cook-off means that we’re going to have to rely on everything we’ve learnt as chefs as well as push ourselves to create dishes that speak of the history, traditions, and spirit of the locations we’ll be visiting.
“Taking on Gordon to find out which of us is the best chef is going to be interesting, to say the least, but it’s still an exciting way to discover the wealth of ingredients that we have around us”.
Matt began his career in a small country house hotel in Glen yr Afon, Usk, before graduating from the University of West London with a degree in culinary arts and food science.
While in London, Matt worked with some well-known restaurants, including The Connaught Hotel, under the supervision of Helene Darroze.
“Working closely with Helene influenced me greatly as her philosophy of using the very best seasonal products and treating them with respect and care has become a bedrock of my cooking style,” he continued.
Matt returned to Wales after two and a half years at the Connaught Hotel, where he worked as Sous Chef at Restaurant James Sommerin in Penarth from it’s opening until it received a Michelin Star.
“This taught me a lot about running a restaurant and all that comes with the territory and this prepared me for my time with Gareth Ward at Ynyshir, with its Michelin Star and 5 AA Rosettes.”
Matt was appointed Head Chef of Park House Restaurant in Cardiff in 2018, where his cooking style was immersed in the exquisite flavours of using Welsh produce from the coasts and mountains.
He added: “It’s important to build up strong relationships with local farmers as well as the smaller suppliers which gives me the ability to handpick the produce to ensure it’s the best I can get my hands on.”
The ‘Wales Tales’ episode of “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted Showdown” will air on National Geographic on Wednesday, November 16 at 8pm.