Independent shopper: Daniel Jones, JT Abergwaun Hotel

15 May 2023, 14:57 PM
  • Daniel Jones, executive chef and co-owner of JT at the Abergwaun Hotel shares his favourite local suppliers and what makes Pembrokeshire produce so special
Independent shopper: Daniel Jones, JT Abergwaun Hotel

JT at The Abergwaun Hotel in Fishguard is a modern European restaurant steeped in Welsh heritage, offering an a la carte menu which changes daily depending on what can be sourced that day, from locally foraged, farmed or fished ingredients like local lobster and spider crab.

We are located in the picturesque village of Fishguard, known as the gateway to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, with its wonderful walks and viewpoints, and an abundance of wildlife. We boast an array of independent businesses plus many cosy cafés, pubs and restaurants.

Great produce forms the foundation of every dish we create and serve in the restaurant. We support local producers and know where to find great produce. In Fishguard, we are very lucky to have everything on our doorstep, from local fish and shellfish to great farms and an abundance of opportunity for both land and sea foraging.

Here, if you put in the effort to source the best, you can find it, but it’s not as easy as picking up the phone to order it! It’s about who you know and how willing you are to go out and get the best.

I have worked with local farmers Martyn and Danielle for years, who produce the famous Fishguard duck and chicken. I even helped them on the farm during Covid lockdowns, perfecting my speed butchery skills and forming an invaluably close relationship to get the best prices and freshest deliveries for my guests to enjoy.

Shellfish supplier Walshie’s Shellfish has been a close friend for decades – he was my youth rugby coach, so again this old friendship gets me the best and freshest supplies from sea to plate in the same afternoon! Similar attitudes towards eating the best and enjoying hospitality are what have kept my supplier relationships strong. We celebrate our suppliers on our menus and welcome them all here to JT’s for special occasions and their Christmas parties-we take care of them, and they take care of us and our guests.

We use local ales not just for getting our guests merry, we also lace our Fishguard duck gravy and our cockle broths with local ciders or ales, coupled with foraged seaweeds and wild herbs, shrubs and flowers to add a taste of the ‘terroir’ (habitat) to our sauces. It’s a uniqueness that you can only enjoy from us here. Bluestone Brewery, located just nine miles away, supplies our ales and local beer.

Tradition and quality are showcased throughout what we do, so it makes so much sense to use the local water mill Y Felin just up the coast, which supplies us with several different flours that we use in so many different variations at the restaurant.

They share the belief in tradition and quality that we have, and we love their products and what we can do with them. Equally, fresh local eggs and milk from Morfa Milk farm mean that almost everything we create here at JT’s supports the local economy, as well as showcasing the wonderful produce of Pembrokeshire, which is often transported far and wide in bulk out of this little town.

more like this
close stay up-to-date with our free newsletter | expert intel | tailored industry news | new-to-know trend analysis | sign up | speciality food daily briefing