Thousands of visitors are expected to pack out the streets of Newport for this Saturday’s food festival – sponsored by Tiny Rebel.
The award-winning brewery which runs Urban Tap in the city centre is the headline sponsor of the free, one-day event which will see 80 stalls and more than a dozen food demonstrations or talks.
Tiny Rebel’s Bradley Cummings said: “We’re a proud Newport business so coming on board as headline sponsor of the festival is a great honour.”
The Golden Lion at Magor is a supporting sponsor – and two of its chefs are on the bill.
The mouth-watering line-up of chefs includes the Celtic Manor Resort’s TV chef Larkin Cen, Ben Periam of Mojo The Food Bar, James Sommerin of The Esplanade in Penarth, and Steve White of The Ruperra Arms.
The festival’s hotly-contested teen chef competition final will be staged at 10am upstairs in Newport Market, and there will be a battle of the burgers there between Pretentious Burger Kitchen and Meat Bar & Grill at 4pm.
There’s also a packed programme of entertainment with choirs and bands performing throughout the day.
Here are 9 tasty things to do at the festival:
Learn how to make perfect pasta – including a simple dish anyone can replicate at home – with the Executive Chef of The Park Michelin-starred restaurant and The Brasserie at Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Hywel Jones. His session will take place at 11am in the upper area of Newport Market.
Spice up your life with a tasting of some of the hot and fiery sauces from Monmouthshire producers Sorai. If you love chillis, these sauces are for you! We recommend the onion and balsamic sauce which has a hot tang.
Brush up on your cake decorating skills at a demonstration with Nia Thomas in 44 High Street at 2pm. Nia has 18 years of experience in decoration and sugar craft – and she has passed on her skills in classes and day schools for the past two years.
Sample fantastic, fresh, and funky vegetarian food at the Parsnipship stall – created at their base in South Wales. We’re in love with Parsnipship’s haloumi burgers.
Catch a demonstration by Gwent chef James Sommerin, whose Penarth restaurant has been awarded title of Best in Wales in the Good Food Guide 2016. He’ll be at the Pobl offices at 11.30am. He has inspired his 17-year-old daughter to work alongside him in his kitchen.
Check out the sweet taste of Clam’s Handmade Cakes at their stall – last year, they did a roaring trade. So pop along early to get the widest selection of cakes!
Learn how to cook with beer with the help of Tiny Rebel’s Paul Turley. His demonstration will be in the Pobl offices at 2.30pm.
Taste some wine or liqueur from exhibitors Cwm Deri Vineyard. We caught up with them at the recent Abergavenny Food Festival and loved their light and bright elderflower gin and smooth sloe gin.
Grab an ice lolly with a kick from Mojo The Food Bar’s pop-up cocktail bar – or a special cocktail created by mixologist and head bartender, Andrej Madaras.
From top chefs and food writers to TV presenters and a former star of the Great British Bake Off – this year’s Abergavenny Food Festival will be a feast for its tens of thousands of visitors.
Last year’s event attracted 30,000 people, and this year’s festival will run from Friday night (September 16) to Sunday.
This year’s line-up has a taste of cooking from India, Italy, France, Spain, Malaysia, Poland, Japan, Korea, and the UK.
MasterChef: The Professionals presenter and former Le Gavroche senior sous chef Monica Galetti talks about her new book, The Skills, and stages a masterclass at the Borough Theatre on Friday evening.
On Saturday, Abergavenny Food Festival favourite Cyrus Todiwala will be at the Borough Theatre showing visitors how to get 120 dishes out of 10 spices with recipes from his new book, Mr Todiwala’s Spice Box. The chef, restaurateur, and author has been called the UK’s best Indian chef.
Acclaimed chef and restaurateur Jose Pizzaro will share culinary secrets from his new book, Basque, during a session at the Borough Theatre on Saturday.
Founder of the Riverford Field Kitchen, Jane Baxter, will give a taste of her new book, Leon Happy Salads, at the Masonic Hall on Sunday.
What To Eat Now star Valentine Warner returns to the festival with new fish recipes at the Priory Centre on Sunday, and Llansantffraed Court chef Tim McDougall will be demonstrating recipes with Usk Valley beef, Monmouthshire lamb, and Bristol Channel sea bass at the Priory Centre on Sunday.
If you’ve been diagnosed as a coeliac, Naomi Devlin will be holding a masterclass at the Priory Centre on Saturday called River Cottage Gluten Free. She will be preparing some of the 120 recipes in her book – which don’t compromise on taste.
Miss Foodwise blog editor Regina Ysewijn will prepare 17th Century puddings from her book, Pride and Pudding, at the Masonic Hall on Saturday.
You could learn Japanese cooking with food writer and chef Kimiko Barber at the Borough Theatre on Saturday.
Or you could pick up expert barbecue tips from the dynamic funders of the Hang Fire Smokehouse at the Priory Centre on Saturday. Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn will also be sharing tales of their cooking misadventure from their book, Recipes and Adventures in American BBQ.
Builder-turned-baker Richard Burr, a finalist in last year’s Great British Bake Off, will tell you how to be a star baker during a session at the Masonic Hall on Saturday. He will demonstrate recipes from his first cookbook, Bake It Yourself.
Norman Musa will demonstrate recipes from his book Amazing Malaysian at the Priory Centre on Saturday, Marie Cheong-Thong and Jon Old will be talking about sake and wasabi at the Masonic Hall on Saturday, and Eleonara Galasso will talk about modern Roman cuisine at the Priory Centre on Saturday.
Vegetarians will find a feast of ideas from Alice Hart when she talks about her new book The Modern Vegetarian at the Masonic Hall on Saturday.
Also on the bill: pop-up restaurateurs Terry and George; food writer William Sitwell; writer and recipe developer Eleanor Ford; Zuza Zak; Brad McDonald; Martha Collison.
The festival features a packed programme of forages and tours, tutored tastings, and sessions at the Artisan Kitchen School.
A North Wales brewery scooped a prestigious award in tonight’s Champion Beer of Britain Awards.
Heavy Industry Brewing based at Henllan won the strong bitter category with its ale, 77, at the awards staged at the Great British Beer Festival in London.
Founder Tom McNeill set up the brewery in 2012 after completing a course in British Brewing Technology at Brewlab in Sunderland.
He learned he loved brewing cask ales and worked for the summer of 2009 at Purple Moose Brewery in Porthmadog. There, he learned about running a brewery.
Heavy Industry Brewing started out with a ten barrel brew kit and now produces 10 beers including 77, Diawl Bach, Nelson’s Eye, Pigeon Toed Orange Peel, and Dr Jekyll’s Last Waltz.
The winning beer, 77, is an amber IPA brewed with pale and crystal malts and has a flavour of dark Seville marmalade spiked with pepper. Find out more about the brewery here.
It was a good night for Welsh brewers.
Aberdare’s Grey Trees Brewers picked up a silver in the golden ale category for Digger’s Gold.
Newport’s Tiny Rebel Brewery – the winner of last year’s champion ale title with its beer Cwtch – picked up two awards. It won silver in the bitter category for Hank, and joint bronze in best bitter category for Cwtch.
The Great British Beer Festival is run by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale.
This year’s supreme champion brewery is Bingham’s of Runscombe in Berkshire for its Vanilla Stout.
MARIA WILLIAMS IS A COPYWRITER, BLOGGER, PR, AND JOURNALIST. VISIT HER WEBSITE HERE.
Byddwch yn dod i’r Fenni am yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol yr wythnos yma? Croeso!
Dw i wedi byw yn Y Fenni am bymtheng mlynedd – a dyma rhai o’r lleoedd gorau i fwyta o gwmpas y dref:
The Hardwick, yn Hardwick ger Y Fenni
Mae’r cogydd Stephen Terry’n enwog am ddefnyddio mwyd lleol. Mae’r bwyd yr Hardwick yn syml ac yn flasus iawn. Rhaid i chi archebu bwrdd ‘na – mae’r Hardwick yn boblogaidd iawn gydag ymwelwyr a phobol leol.
The Angel, Stryd y Croes
Mae’r Angel yn enwog am fwyta gwych a the yn y prynhawn. Dewiswch o’r fwydlen a la carte, neu archebu bwrdd am de gyda brechdanau gwych a chacennau.
Marches Deli, Heol Nevill
Perffaith am brynu cigoedd a chawsai lleol, gwînau o Sir Fynwy, brechdanau, a photelau’r cwrw Iechyd Da.
Gurkha Corner, Stryd Nevill
Bwyd o Nepal ydy’r arbenigedd y bwyty yma. Trio’r ‘daal bhat’ (reis a chorbys) ac yr ‘achar’ (siytni).
Mae’r cogydd yn paratoi’r perlysiau a sbeisys yn forter carreg a phestl, fel sy’n draddodiadol yn Nepal Mae hwn yn gan roi blas unigryw i’r fwyd.
Fig Tree Espresso, Stryd Nevill
Coffi gwych, te, tartenni sawrus, a chacennau blasus.
Hoffi Coffi, Stryd Nevill
Caffi newydd sy’n gweini coffi, te, cacennau, a brechdanau.
The Trading Post, Stryd Nevill
Coffi gwych, te, brechdanau ffres, a chacennau.
Cwtch Café, Stryd y Croes
Coffi a the da, cacennau gwych, ac mae’r caffi yma’n enwog am grempogau.
Luigi’s, Stryd y Croes
Caffi traddodiadol Eidaleg sy’n gweini te, coffi, cwrw, gwin, a mwyd Cymraeg ac Eidaleg.
Boonta Too, Stryd y Croes
Bwyty Thai poblogaidd iawn gyda’r bobl Sir Fynwy ydy Boonta Too. Does dim trwydded alcohol am y bwyty yma – felly rhaid i chi ddod â chwrw neu gwîn.
For The Love Of Cake, Stryd Frogmore
Caffi anhygwyl sy’n gweini te, coffi, brechdanau, a chacennau a gwneud â llaw.
Lazy Days Café, Stryd Frogmore
Mae’r caffi’n drws nesaf i siop cigydd ac yn enwog am cigaoedd – yn frechdanau a chiniawau rhost.
Pizzorante, Stryd y Farchnad
Bwyty gwych am bitsa – poblogaidd iawn gyda’r bobl Y Fenni.
Ac ar y maes…
Edrychwch am y cwrw’r Eisteddfod Genedlaethol ar werth ar y maes o’r bragdy Mad Dog. Cwrw coch gyda’r blas o siocled ac sydd oren ydy Iechyd Da. Darllenwch mwy am Mad Dog ac yr Eisteddfod yma.
Passionate brewer Alexis Jones has been cooking up a great 2016 for his company, Mad Dog Brewing.
The Goytre company is currently brewing the official beer for the National Eisteddfod 2016 which will be staged in nearby Abergavenny. Europe’s biggest cultural festival is expected to welcome 160,000 visitors between July 29 and August 6.
He’s also poised to take on his first two staff, both experienced brewers, and to expand into a nearby unit as his business grows. He also has plans to open a family venue in Abergavenny.
The company’s beers can now be bought across South Wales. Mad Dog Brewing supplies Wetherspoon’s pubs from Llanelli in the west to the English border in Monmouthshire.
It’s a DIY success story born from home-brewing in his kitchen after watching a number of videos on YouTube. After learning his trade, qualifying in microbiology for brewing, and working for a brewery in Caerphilly, he started his own company just two years ago.
Now, he’s begun his eight brews of the Eisteddfod beer Iechyd Da, a red ale which tastes of oranges and chocolate and has a spicy finish on the tongue.
“It’s clean and crisp and is 4.1%,” he says.
The beer has a lower AVB than some other craft ales because it is designed to be a refreshing drink for the Eisteddfod maes, where Mad Dog will have a bar. It will also be sold in bars in South Wales.
The brewery is making 160 casks for the festival, along with 1,000 500ml bottles.
Iechyd Da will be launched at The Bridge in Llanfoist on June 4 – and Alexis will also be showing off one of his most popular beers, Bohemian Hipster.
“I was asked to brew the beer by Monmouthshire Council. When I first got the email, I thought it was a wind-up, but I went to a meeting two days later and found out it was serious,” Alexis says.
“As well as having a bar on the Eisteddfod field, we’ll be staging a brewing demonstration on the first Saturday of the festival.”
The event will provide a huge audience for Mad Dog’s beers – and a massive boost to the company’s profile.
The secret to Mad Dog’s success is the fact Alexis is a perfectionist who uses unusual and local produce, like juniper berries and granola, as part of the brewing process to create unusual and delicious tastes.
The brewery carries out a pilot brew on its ales as they perfect the recipes, ensuring all its beers meet Alexis’s exacting standards. Even its used mash doesn’t go to waste – it becomes cattle feed for a nearby beef farm.
The brewery is planning its own beer festival with guest ales from around the UK in September at its site in Goytre, to raise funds for mental health charity MIND.
In July, Mad Dog will also be involved in a ‘tap takeover’ at Cardiff’s Urban Tap House, and Alexis is in the process of planning a Christmas event too.
“Our two new brewers start work in the next few months, which will help us meet the growing demand for our beers,” Alexis says.
He can’t reveal more details about his plan for an Abergavenny venue as yet – watch this space!
Top chefs will display their skills at this weekend’s Caernarfon Food Festival.
Bryn Williams (pictured), the star of TV’s Cegin Bryn and the owner and proprieter of Odette’s, is joined on the bill by Beca Lyne-Pirkis of Becws Beca and The Great British Bake Off, Masterchef The Professionals contestant Matt Guy, Blas restaurant owner Dan ap Geraint, and Ffres ambassador Lisa Fearn.
Demonstrations will also be staged by Anglesey Cookery School, and there will be sessions on recipes from World War II by the Royal Welch Fusiliers Museum.
There will be dozens of stall selling everything from cakes and sweets to meat, wine, and cheeses at the event on May 14.
There will also be a dedicated children’s area and music from Cor Dre, Pon Bro, Bandana, and Cor Cofnod.
Alexlouise Brown (pictured) was trained by Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc, she ran her own pub-restaurant and her own catering company.
Now, she is sharing her passion for food by teaching people how to go back to basics and make delicious meals from scratch.
Once a month, the owner of Alex’s Supper Clubs hosts Alex Cooks The Box at her base in Pontypridd.
Riverford Organic Farms vegetable and meat boxes are the centrepieces of every session. The contents change every month – produce is seasonal and from Riverford’s network of farms.
Alexlouise, 35, has just a few days to come up with mouth-watering recipes which are simple enough to be demonstrated to and remembered by her visitors without a recipe.
Remember how our mothers and grandmothers created meals from available ingredients without ever looking at a recipe?
Alexlouise is taking cookery classes back to the future.
When I visit, the vegetables include wild garlic, cabbage, courgettes, carrots, rocket, cucumber, spinach leaves, purple sprouting broccoli, onions, potatoes, and mushrooms. The vegetables are supplemented by Riverford organic meats and organic free range eggs, milk, and cream. The only non-UK fruit and vegetable ingredients are bananas – which, of course, have to be imported.
Alexlouise’s philosophy is simple: cook using organic produce and cook from scratch.
“Food doesn’t have ingredients, food is ingredients,” she says.
We’re greeted with a glass of prosecco or her own kombucha, a fermented tea which is slightly sparkling. Alexlouise has added berries to the probiotic drink. It’s refreshing and good for the digestive system.
As she expertly slices the potatoes into wedges and sprinkles them with garam masala and cumin, we talk about the toll food processing can take on ingredients.
Alexlouise shows us how to spatchcock a chicken within minutes. Her cooking doesn’t require complicated kitchenalia – just a roasting tin or two, a frying pan, a saucepan, one sharp knife, a sharp grater, and a hand mixer.
As the chicken and potato wedges roast in the oven, Alexlouise sets to making us her mouth-watering mushroom soup.
Solid coconut oil is heated to become liquid, and onions fried until translucent. If no vegetarians like me attend, Alexlouise could use lard. Then, Alexlouise grates in the mushrooms. Water, rather than stock, is added, and the soup is seasoned. It simmers until ready for hand blending and is served in tea cups with a dollop of sour cream and a square of homemade rosemary focaccia. It’s fresh and delicious.
We all marvel at how much taste Alexlouise packs into a simple soup.
Our six courses include a home-made coleslaw with soft-boiled eggs which lives on a different planet from the runny affair we buy in tubs in supermarkets.
The grater is king – carrots and cabbage are grated, mayonnaise is added, and everything is seasoned to perfection.
We are also treated to linguini with a tangy lemon and chilli sauce and a crunchy topping of cob nuts, a salad of leaves topped with a balsamic syrup and Indian paneer cheese griddled in Indian spices, roasted, spatchcocked chicken and potato wedges, and Alexlouise’s pudding, a caramelised banana fool.
We’re shown how to caramelise sugar correctly – never leave un-melted sugar grains – and how best to coat the banana slices. Cream is whipped and Alexlouise assembles the pudding in champagne flutes, topped with an orange physalis berry on the rim of the glass.
At the end of the three-hour session, we’re enlightened, full, happy, and determined to put Alexlouise’s simple recipes into action in our own kitchens.
The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed enough to reassure even the most timid would-be cook. Vegetarians like me are welcomed.
It’s the perfect foodie night out with friends or family.
Riverford Organic Farms franchiser in South East Wales Janet Mier, who is also at the Alex Cooks The Box night, says the sessions have inspired visitors to order regular vegetable and meat box deliveries.
“Some people who come along are already customers and have heard about the events through us, but others are inspired by the recipes and the produce and sign up,” she says.
“They see the quality of the produce and taste how good it is. We’ve been involved in the nights for a few months now, and it’s been excellent.”
Janet serves customers from Penarth and Sully to the Heads of the Valleys and Monmouthshire border to the east, delivering around 850 boxes a week.
At 15, Alexlouise went straight from school into a job in a kitchen after a work experience placement at 14. She washed dishes and prepared vegetables, but soon realised she could work her way up.
“If you stay in kitchens long enough and you learn, you will progress,” she says.
She went on to work in restaurants like those at the Celtic Manor, then worked under Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons near Oxford. By the time she was 22, she was running her own pub-restaurant Y Draenog in Pontyclun.
A spell running her own catering company followed, then a move to Switzerland, the home of the hospitality industry.
Alexlouise catered to exclusive ski chalet clients like Prince Andrew, the President of Kazakhstan, the Saudi royal family, and billionaire businessmen and women.
When she returned to Wales, she began working at her other love, property development. Cooking went on the back burner for a while, but her love of food eventually drew her back to the kitchen.
She started her Alex’s Supper Clubs business, where a group of people visits her base in Pontypridd, each bringing an ingredient. Everyone cooks together.
Then came Alex Cooks The Box.
Now, Alex is also spreading her love of cooking by teaching families how to cook with affordable, fresh ingredients in Llanhilleth.
A North Wales delicatessen famed for its home-made produce has been highly commended at the British Pie Awards in Melton Mowbray.
Leonardo’s Delicatessen Limited in Ruthin was recognised for its lamb, coriander, and apricot pie in the lamb pie category at the prestigious awards.
Leonardo’s makes its own quiches, puddings, sausage rolls, patés, and ready meals, alongside its meat pies including chicken, leek and laverbread pies.
The deli was founded in 200 by Ceris Brunzel-Roberts and her chef husband Andreas Brunzel. It uses seasonal fruit and vegetables from the owners’ garden, Tyn y Celyn free range chicken, Welsh black beef from Bala, Mochyn Merllyn pork, and Coed Du Farm milk and cream. Other local ingredients used include Clyttir Farm free range eggs and Snowdonia cheddar.
The Cumbrian firm took home the title of Supreme Champion, beating 815 other pies to secure the coveted trophy. This pasty had the judges’ mouths watering for its even bake, beautiful glaze and well balanced flavours.
Matthew O’Callaghan, Chairman of the British Pie Awards and Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association, said: “I know many will be surprised to see a pasty winning the British Pie Awards, but the definition of a pie is a filling totally encased in pastry – pies come in all shapes including round pies, square pies and pasties.
“Pasties have been a feature of British cuisine for centuries ranging from the Forfar Bridie in Scotland through to the Midland’s Bedfordshire Clanger and down to the iconic Cornish Pasty. I’m pleased that we now have an award-winning pasty to shout about from Cumbria.
“The winning pasty was outstanding.”
The eighth annual British Pie Awards took place in Melton Mowbray during British Pie Week for the first time in the awards’ history. On Wednesday, 816 pies were entered from 132 professional bakers, butchers, and chefs and judged by over 100 top pie perfectionists – including leading food critic Charles Campion, chef Rachel Green and TV chef Andy Bates.
Turner’s Pies Ltd in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, had four entries achieving first place within their individual classes. These pies were – Steak & Stilton Pie, Highland Top Rump & Potato Pie, Chicken, Ham Hock & Stuffing Pie, and Steak & Ale Pie. If you think football clubs are all about meat pies, think again. Morecambe Football Club won the dessert pie category with its apple, sultana,and cinnamon pie, and was highly commended twice.
The Speciality Class at this year’s British Pie Awards encouraged pie makers to create showstopping pies fit for Her Majesty The Queens 90th birthday celebrations. A Victorian Corset Pork & Chicken Pie produced by Walker & Son was crowned as the class winner.
Beef Skirt & Vegetable Pastie –
A.F. Huddleston Butchers
Best Overall Small Producer
Steak & Ale Pie – The Wheatsheaf
Class 1 – Melton Mowbray Pork Pie
Melton Mowbray Pork Pie – Dickinson & Morris
Melton Mowbray Pork Pie – F. Bailey & Son
Melton Mowbray Pork Pie – Leesons Family Butchers
Class 2 – Pork Pie
Tesco Finest Extra Large Melton Mowbray Pork Pie – Walker & Son
Pork & Egg Pie 440g – Walker & Son
Pork Pie – Keelham Farm Shop Ltd
Class 3 – Steak & Kidney Pie
Steak & Kidney Pie – Wessex Pantry
Steak, Kidney & Ale Pie – Proper Pies Limited
Steak & Kidney Pie – Turner’s Pies Ltd
Class 4 – Beef & Any Flavour Combination Pie
Steak & Stilton Pie – Turner’s Pies Ltd
Beef, Venison & Red Wine Pie – The Outdoor Pig Company
Steak Mushroom & Truffle Oil Pie – Turner’s Pies Ltd
Class 5 – Beef & Ale Pie
Steak & Ale Pie – The Wheatsheaf
Steak & Ale Pie – Tom’s Pies
Steak & Ale Pie – Chef’s Kitchen
Class 6 – Meat & Potato Pie
Highland Top Rump & Potato Pie – Turner’s Pies Ltd
Meat & Potato Pie – Morecambe FC
Steak & Potato Pie – Middleton-in-Teesdale Fish & Chip Shop
Class 7 – Lamb Pie
Lamb, Mint & Rosemary Pie – Robert Bowring Farmer & Butchers
Lamb, Coriander & Apricot Pie – Leonardos Delicatessen Ltd
Braised Lamb, Rosemary & Roast Potato Pie – Dunkleys
Class 8 – Chicken Pie
Chicken, Ham Hock & Stuffing Pie – Turner’s Pies Ltd
Chicken Pie – Plenty Pastry Ltd
Chicken Pie – Robert Bowring Farmer & Butchers
Class 9 – Chicken & Vegetable / Herb Pie
Luxury Chicken Pie – Nice Pie
Chicken & Leek Pie – Thomas the Caterer
Chicken & Leek Pie – Robert Bowring Farmer & Butchers
Class 10 – Chicken & Other Meat Pie
Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Pie – Walker & Son
Chicken Pie – Plenty Pastry Ltd
Chicken, Ham Hock, Maderia & Wild Mushroom Pie – Proper Pies Ltd
Class 11 – Speciality Meat Pie
Game Pie – Mud Foods Ltd
Venison Pie – Plenty Pastry Ltd
Game Pie -Madaboutpies.co.uk
Class 12 – Savoury Pie
Pork & Apple with Layered Turkey & Sage Crust – Roberts Country Fayre
M&S Fluted Oval Pork & Chicken Layered Pie – Walker & Son
Tesco Ultimate Pork Pie 440g – Walker & Son
Class 13 – Fish Pie
Posh Stargazy with Prawns Pie – Fuller, Smith & Turner
Smoked Salmon & Caviar Pie – Katherine Walmsley Fine Foods