Arms folded over his chest, Gareth Ward stands front-on to the camera, a rural hilly Welsh landscape behind him.

Chef Judge – Gareth Ward 

Head Chef and Co-Owner – Ynyshir Restaurant and Rooms

​Gareth was born and raised in County Durham. He started his cooking career at age 16, working in kitchens in the North East before moving to Rutland to work under Aaron Patterson at Hambelton Hall. After 5 years spent in the Michelin-starred kitchen, Gareth rose from the position of commis chef up to junior sous.

Shortly after leaving Hambleton, Gareth moved back North to work at Seaham Hall and eventually took his first head chef role at Hart’s Restaurant in Nottingham. Gareth’s next move was to Restaurant Sat Bains; while working there, Sat Bains was awarded a second Michelin star in 2011. 

In 2013, striving for more and wanting to create a unique concept, Gareth was named head chef at Ynyshir, then called Ynyshir Hall. In his first year, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star, then gained 4 AA Rosettes shortly afterwards, making it the only restaurant in Wales to hold the accolade at the time. 

Now co-owner, Ynyshir has since been awarded 5 AA Rosettes, 2 Michelin stars, and Best Restaurant in the UK 2022 by the National Restaurant Awards. Using only the finest ingredients and working closely with innovative craftsman, Gareth strives to create a unique experience that you cannot get anywhere else. His philosophy is “Ingredient Led, Flavour Driven, Fat Fuelled, Meat Obsessed”, and the restaurant is all about punchy flavours, funky music and incredible drinks.