Champion Lamb Carcass
Sharing a passion for Wales and Welsh produce by serving festive season meals from the Royal Welsh Winter Fair’s top lamb carcasses remains a tremendous source of pride to the owners of Penarth’s prestigious La Marine & El Puerto Restaurant.
Tanny Martinez delights in continuing a tradition begun by his father in the late 1990s and paid £1,000 for last year’s Supreme Lamb Carcass and also bought the Reserve Supreme Single Champion and Supreme Pairs Champion, saying it was a special Christmas bonus for discerning customers. And while Tanny accepts he didn’t directly recover the money from the meals served, he feels it’s a fitting tribute to his clients’ loyalty and to the quality of Welsh produce which underpins his business.
He says:”It’s something we’re very proud of and something we’re happy to keep supporting and we’ll be there, at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, again this year. We sell a lot of lamb, on average sixteen whole lambs a week between our two sites in Cardiff, and we always buy Welsh lamb.
“Whenever the Royal Welsh Winter Fair comes around, it’s always nice for us to support it. We like to support the Welsh people and the Welsh economy as much as we can and we firmly believe that Welsh lamb is the best in the world.”
Mr Martinez says the Winter Fair encapsulates Welsh people, Welsh history, Welsh heritage and Welsh produce. He tries to put as much produce as possible into his restaurants at the Custom House, Penarth, the Priory, Caerleon, and at the Miskin Arms, Miskin, and says it’s a pleasure to keep pushing Welsh lamb.
The lambs are butchered on site at the restaurants, with every part used, from the Sunday lunch roast leg to rack, noisettes, shoulders, neck all cooked to perfection and served at the right price. nd he says that, properly prepared, the product sells itself.
He says: “The champion lamb is far superior in terms of taste. You can taste the difference if you’re a lamb eater and you will know it’s not the normal, run of the mill Welsh lamb, however fantastic that is.
“We highlight to our customers when we are serving the champion lamb, but we sell it at the same price. We don’t put an uplift on it. We obviously pay more – up to ten times more than we would for a normal lamb to have the champion – but we don’t reflect that in our prices.
“We take a hit on serving the champion lamb, but that’s business. It’s not always about making money. We do it to advertise the lamb, to advertise Wales, and to be part of the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, which we have been for many years.
“Our customers are discerning. They appreciate the lamb and what we are trying to do in supporting it. We are quite simply passionate about Welsh lamb, Welsh produce, and that’s why the Royal Welsh Winter Fair is one of the most important dates on the calendar for us.”