Cynan is, without a shadow of a doubt, THE mushroom man in our eyes.
Ten years ago he decided to dig further into the fungi kingdom – something which had always interested him – and his business The Mushroom Garden was the result of his foraging. He and his wife June started with the wild mushrooms of Snowdonia and soon turned attention to cultivating more exotic mushrooms in Wales. Their famous fungi grow in the outstandingly beautiful area of Snowdonia, and thrive on the infamous rain and mist of Wales.
It seemed inevitable that Halen Môn would work with Cynan and the lovely June when their family business made such high quality products, and our 3 Gold Star winning Umami seasoning is the delicious result of our working relationship.
Modest, kind and extraordinarily funny, as well as one being one of Wales’ leading fungi experts, Cynan is also a very accomplished Welsh language poet. Here, we chat Antonio Carluccio and anchovies over a mug of Welsh brew.
WHO TAUGHT YOU TO LOVE FOOD?
June, my wife. She has always been a forager and gardener and loves to experiment with new and interesting vegetables , herbs and spices (to go with our own lamb and pork – she is also a part time farmer)
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
The very first was a paper round in my home town of Blaenau Ffestiniog North Wales when I was about 13yrs old – the first real job was when I took a year out of a Life Science degree course at Liverpool University to do a nursing course (not many people know this!) – amazing experience of A&E, Theatre and best of all Obstetrics
WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?
Melon followed by a homemade tapenade with olives , capers and garlic
WHERE DO YOU GO OUT TO EAT?
We do not eat out very often- we love to cook at home every evening- and when away at food and trade shows we tend to “forage “ during the day and have a hotel room picnic (with wine, of course)
WHAT’RE YOUR THREE FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS?
Garlic, lemon and wine
WHAT DOES HM GO BEST WITH?
Our Shiitake powder and dried seaweed in the unique umami seasoning
DESCRIBE WALES IN 5 WORDS
Fascinating, inspirational, frustrating AND home
WHERE DO YOU THINK IS AN EXCITING FOOD SCENE OR CITY?
Cricieth! For those who do not know it a small seaside town on the North Wales coast- it has a wide range of food choices , from excellent pub food (Castle Inn) through to a range of restaurants and fine dining at Bron Eifion Country House
WHAT’S THE MOST UNDERUSED INGREDIENT?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE COOKBOOK?
Being a fungi fanatic it has to be Carluccio’s Complete Mushroom Book- tips on foraging and excellent recipes
Images: Matt Russell