Award winning Anglesey smokery a favourite of Barack Obama
PUBLISHED: 00:16 18 March 2011 | UPDATED: 12:46 16 May 2016
David McCreadie has spent a lifetime in, on or near the sea and food from his Anglesey smokery is finding its way all over the world
Barack Obama is a man of impeccable taste. His elegant fashion sense is obvious to everyone but only visitors to the White House get to sample one of the sweeter aspects of his style. Chocolates handed to guests at events there are laced with Anglesey sea salt, smoked by David McCreadie at his Dulas smokery.
But you don’t have to be on the president’s guest list to taste David’s work, it’s available from his shop, as well as at farmers’ markets across the region. And it isn’t just salt, either - David’s mantlepiece is groaning under the weight of awards he has won for his smoked cheese, meat and fish.
‘We started smoking for family and friends and everyone said how good it was so we took it a step further,’ he said.
‘I started the smokery in 2003. One of the outbuildings at the back of the house had a chimney. The house was part of an old estate and one of the outbuildings was used as the smokery for the house. We used it now and again, at Christmas mainly, to do ham or salmon.
‘When 14 oak trees came down in gales we had them planked and used the shavings in the smokery and then a friend won the contract to make all the gates and stiles on the coastal path round the island. He gives us shavings and he gets as much smoked fish or cheese as he wants.’
The outbuildings have now been developed into a state-of-the-art smokery - the only smokery on Anglesey - but David, who grew up on the North Sea coast in Redcar, took an unconventional route to becoming a key figure in Anglesey’s food scene.
After a degree in marine biology and oceanography he ran a lobster farm in the Menai Strait before spending more than 20 years working on off shore oil platforms in the Middle East.
He still dives for lobsters and has found much more besides in the waters around Anglesey. David, who is a keen underwater photographer, was the first person to locate the wrecks of a fleet of Elizabethan warships which were lost en route from Liverpool to Ireland in 1625.
‘I was running out of air and on my way back to the boat when I saw something that looked like a canon,’ he said. ‘It’s outside the back of my house now but there was more than one down there.
‘It’s amazing what’s in the Menai Strait. I brought up what I thought was a millstone once. I had it standing outside by the wall until someone told me it was a Roman anchor lost when they crossed from the mainland to slaughter the druids - I keep it in the conservatory now.’