Sometime back in 1979, anybody that ran into the two seven year old boys mucking about in the street’s of nearby St. David’s would have never predicted that they would come together again over 30 years later to open Pembrokeshire’s latest quality dining experience.
Matthew Cox , Head Chef and Manager of The Cambrian Inn was one half of that cheeky duo, who grew up in a home within which almost everyone just loved to cook. After school, Matt as he prefers to be called, attended The Pembrokeshire College, where he learnt the basic foundations of classic cooking, before moving to the outskirts of London and the Foxley Country House Hotel, where in his own word’s “this is where my passion was born”.
Like many a young lad (and lass) who were fortunate enough to grow up in Pembrokeshire, the draw was too strong, and he returned to St. David’s to take over his family run restaurant Cox’s Restaurant in 2001. After three great years of running Cox’s he then decided to take a year off to expand his knowledge of food (and have a lot of fun!) travelling around Australia and the Far East.
Again the draw of Pembrokeshire proved to strong and upon his return Matt was appointed, Head Chef to a new restaurant Cwtch* where he worked for the last seven years, helping to establish the restaurant as one of Wales leading restaurants, with recognition for his cooking in top food guides including the Michelin Red Guide and The Which Good Food Guide.
In late 2011, Matt joined forces with that other little boy, Jeremy (Jem) Barton, Co-Owner of The Cambrian Inn, with the aim of establishing the kind of restaurant and bar at The Cambrian Inn that they would both like to spend time in with family and friends. A key part of this for both of them was the food and with Matt’s experience and skill, he has put together menus that reflect their shared beliefs that the combination of unpretentious modern British classics and hearty dishes that take you back to your favourite childhood food memories can not be beaten.
At The Cambrian Inn, Matt works closely with carefully selected Welsh food producers who follow ethical and responsible food sourcing practices. Using only fish that has come from sustainable fishing sources and meat which all comes from Welsh farms where the animal’s welfare is paramount during the rearing process.