Seven Celtic Chefs ~ Dai Davies
Even after 40 years in the culinary industry, Welsh Chef Dai Davies – better known as Dai Chef – shows no signs of slowing down. He has cooked for monarchs and celebrities, captained a culinary Olympic team, mentored chefs who have gone on to world class restaurants, and has showcased Welsh food to a variety of countries, including a large group of travel industry reps in Las Vegas.
“Apart from the obvious lambs, leeks and laverbread, we have the sweetest crustaceans, fantastic game, multi-award winning dairy, from whisky to toffee vodka, not to mention our bara brith and Welsh cakes,” he raves. “We even sell garlic to the French! It would take a lifetime to peel back the culinary tapestry that this lush land has to offer.”
Dai Chef was born in Aberystwyth. “My Dad was a hunter-gatherer. I would make rabbit pies him, and I would sell around the local pubs in the town. My Dad would say to my mum ‘let the boy cook’ – and that was the title of my first cookbook.”
In November 2015, Dai Chef became the Executive Chef at Brynteg, a five-star holiday home park located in Snowdonia’s foothills. Margaret Charlotte, his 10-year-old daughter, helps him by running the kid food academy.
“Real Celtic food is all about the taste,” says Dai Chef. “With so much local produce, like mussels and oysters from the Menai, black beef, our own sea salt, locally-produced butter, yogurt and cheese and Snowdonia Mountain lambs, we remain proud here at Brynteg to give our guests the opportunity to experience the true taste of Wales.”
Dai Chef’s Mincemeat
- 250 g each of raisins, sultanas and currants
- 150 g of candied peel, finely chopped
- 150 g of shredded suet
- 50 g of whole almonds, finely chopped
- 250 g of dark brown sugar
- 100 g of glacé cherries, chopped
- 1 large apple, cored and grated
- 1 tbsp mixed spice
- grated rind and juice of 2 oranges and 1 lemon
- pinch of rock salt
- 200 ml of liquor of your choice – brandy, sherry, amaretto or cranberry juice
Make sure you have sterilised your glass jars, which will need to have tight-fitting lids. Mix all the ingredients together and soak in the liquor overnight. Next day, place the mixture in the jars.