Michelin Star restaurant and hotel Ynyshir has become the first in the UK to install a fully-wrap around Saltan Himalyan salt chamber.
The chamber will enable chef owner, Gareth Ward, to further improve the dry-ageing process of meat. Mr Ward is renowned for his dedication to ageing meat to improve its flavour and texture, and the chamber will be used to age foie gras, welsh lamb, middle white pork, ducks, venison and the Welsh Wagyu beef he sources from a nearby farm and ages for 300 days.
Saltan, which is the only business in the UK to supply and install salt chambers, designed the set-up and Ward is already seeing an improvement in the process compared to his previous system thanks to its clean environment and perfect humidity for the ageing process.
Mr Ward said: “We were already ageing meat at a high level, but as we’re always looking to develop our techniques, the natural progression was to get a salt chamber. It has changed what we do with meat ageing and taken it to the highest point, improving the flavours.”
Mr Ward ages meat using the fat-ageing technique where you create a wax-like protective seal using the suet. Prior to his Saltan Salt Chamber he had developed his own method of fridge-ageing using a dehumidifier and fan, which keeps the room his meat ages in dry, and a UV filter, which kills any unwanted bacteria in the air.
Mr Ward has also become chef ambassador for the brand as it looks to grow its business in the UK. He will work with Saltan to share his expertise and experience in dry ageing meat.
Mike Scorer, managing director of Saltan, explained: “We had been looking for a talented dry-ageing enthusiast who had culinary expertise to be our ambassador. When connection was made with Gareth we knew he would make an ideal collaboration partner – a Michelin star chef who is meat focused. He even has a timer on the pass to display the longest current maturation period of his Welsh Wagyu Beef! There is no one else around who does quite what Gareth does and so it was a natural fit to combine our unique ageing solution with Gareth’s unique culinary style.”
Ynyshir is a Michelin star, five AA rosette restaurant and rooms set between Snowdonia National Park and the coast. Its tasting menu consists of 12 courses at lunch and 19 at dinner.
Mr Ward arrived at Ynyshir in 2013 as its new head chef, earning his first Michelin Star within 12 months. Three years later he was made chef owner.
His 20-year career includes the kitchens of Hambleton Hall, Seaham Hall, Hart’s Restaurant in Nottingham and Restaurant Sat Bains.
Saltan is a UK-based Himalayan Salt company providing salt solutions for a whole variety of different industries. It began life as a company selling packets of culinary salt, but quickly expanded to incorporate a whole host of salt products. Its customers include steakhouses, restaurants and butchers.
The company’s salt walls maintain a dry and anti-microbial environment for the ageing process and create the ideal conditions for a chemical reaction within the meat that breaks down protein fibres, resulting in tenderness and flavour.