A Panad with… chef Chris Roberts (AKA Flamebaster)
Chris Roberts, AKA ‘Flamebaster’, has taken Wales (and beyond) by storm with his passion and knowledge for food, provenance and cooking outdoors.
Known for filming recipes in outstandingly beautiful locations around North Wales, over serious flames, his love of cooking and his home country is absolutely infectious.
Catch his series on S4C or there’s plenty of recipes and videos on his website. Warning – it’s hard to watch only one, and you’ll be hungry in minutes. Here, we chat the best cuts of lamb, and share a couple of our favourite videos:
Describe North Wales in five words.
Adra. Unhurried. Mesmerising. Epic. Gorgeous.
People love watching you cook because your absolute enthusiasm for good ingredients, and Wales, really shines through. Where do you get your love of food from?
I’ve always loved food, I remember being 5 or 6yrs old, when all of my mates were watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers cartoons, I was bingeing on Keith Floyd programmes.
I was lucky to have many great cooks in my family growing up, but my love for fire cooking came from my dad’s stories of his time in Patagonia – camping, fishing and eating Asado with the gauchos. I LOVE FIRE! Fire is seared into our DNA, before gas, electric, George Forman grills and microwaves – we all cooked on fire.
Give us a tip or two for the very best roast Welsh lamb ?
Use cuts other than the leg! I love the cheaper cuts of Welsh Lamb. Neck, shoulder, breast and ribs. They are perfect for low and slow cooking.
I’ve cooked A LOT of whole Snowdonia Mountain lambs on my Asado pit over the last few years. I make a Gaucho ‘Salmuera’ brine with lots of Halen Môn, lemon halves, water, garlic and chilli and leave it simmering over the fire as the lamb roasts. I like to baste the whole lamb with a rosemary, bay and thyme brush every 20mins or so. Keeping the brine simmering ensures the cooking process doesn’t slow down when basting. The Halen Môn in the mix transforms the fat into the best crackling – in my opinion even better than pork crackling.
Who is making food you want to eat in Wales right now?
We produce such talented chefs here in Wales, my good friend Tomos Parry from Anglesey, who had his restaurant BRAT in Shoreditch, London, is a genius. He blows me away every time I eat his food, such passion and love in his food. Nathan of SY23 in Aberystwyth is a flavour wizard. Simmie Vedi down in Cardiff, her plates have got me licking my phone screen on a daily basis. Jones Pizza Co in Caernarfon, Rich Jones makes stunning Neapolitan pizzas. And I can’t leave out my Caernarfon Kebab family, so goooood!! Owain Hill at HILLS Brecon is one of my favourite chefs in the world, and his burgers are next level. There is a cauldron of amazing talent here in Wales.
It’s late, you’re hungry and you want something to eat quickly. What do you make ?
Kimchi fried rice always hits the spot!