Chefs and foragers demonstrate their skills at Abergavenny’s Market Hall

James Sommerin

Chefs and foragers will be at the heart of the Abergavenny Food Festival this weekend.

Visitors who have paid for wristband passes will be able to see free demonstrations in the Market Hall – a number involving local names like Simon King of Restaurant 1861, James Sommerin, Penny Lewis of The Culinary Cottage, and Gary Nugent of The Crown at Pantygelli.

Here is the full list for the Market Hall:


Restaurant 1861
Simon King

Simon King, 1861: Wasabi – 10am-10:45am

Simon King is chef/proprietor at 1861, in Cross Ash, near Abergavenny. Having cut his teeth with the Roux Brothers at their famous restaurant on the Thames, and worked with star chef Martin Blunos for seven years, he went on to become head chef at luxury country house hotel, Llansantffraed Court.

Carol Adams: Slow Food South East Wales with Barnaby Hibbert of The Gallery, Barry11am-11:45am

Carol Adams from Slow Food cooks up some traditional food made from local and sustainable produce. Carol was born in the USA and has lived all over the world, discovering, cooking and sharing the cuisines from her travels. She was a director of the International Wine and Food Society of the Bahamas and organised culinary tours to New Orleans.

Barnaby Hibbert is Chef Patron of the award winning restaurant, The Gallery in Barry, named best local restaurant in Wales in 2015. It has been awarded Sustainable Restaurant of the Year in Wales for the last two years.

Abergavenny Creamery’s Dan and Alex: Cooking with Pant-Ys-Gawn fresh Welsh Goats Cheesenoon-12.45pm

The duo will prepare a three course meal using goat’s cheese as the main ingredient in every course. Daniel Young has 14 years’ experience in high end restaurants, together with his Food Science degree and passion for seasonal and local produce, he has a wealth of knowledge and experience in cooking with cheese. Alex McKean is the newest addition to the Abergavenny Creamery family. Alex comes with a culinary arts degree and a stint at the two rosette restaurant Russell’s in Broadway.

Great British Bake Off
Bake Off winner Frances Quinn

Frances Quinn and Myfanwy Hywel: The Great Welsh Bake Off1pm-1.45pm

Great British Bake Off winner 2013 Frances with her sous chef Myfanwy Hywel, 14, will demonstrate how to take a basic flapjack recipe and create Honey Bee Bites. Frances will also be showing Myfanwy how she can decorate a cake that she has prepared earlier using her show-stopping marzipan bees.

Myfanwy is a local girl who loves to bake.  She has won various competitions with her amazing bakes including Radio 2 Chris Evan’s Cakes vs. Pie competition beating both amateur and professional bakers. In early September her Strawberry Rose Cake recipe will be published in the second Clandestine Cake Club cook book, A Year of Cake.

Penny Lewis: The Culinary Cottage2pm-2.45pm

Penny Lewis will be recreating dishes from her cookery school.

Having travelled extensively both in the UK and abroad cooking for dignitaries, celebrities and royalty, including the Queen, Penny now runs the renowned cookery school The Culinary Cottage from her 150 year old home, near Abergavenny.

Liz Knight and Cradoc’s: Canapé Insanity3pm-3.45pm

Liz Knight of Forage Fine Foods and Cradoc’s culinary alchemist Allie Thomas team up to create some extraordinary crazy tasty canapés. Showcasing local produce, the duo will show you how to pump up flavours using foraged goods.

Liz Knight runs Forage Fine Foods in the Black Mountains. She has a passion for preserving and reviving the delicious free food that is on our doorsteps, and creates products that make people fall in love with eating their weeds.

Cradoc’s is a savoury biscuit company, set up by Allie Thomas in 2008. Trained as a potter in the 80s, Allie transferred her commercial ceramics skills into baking and converted her studio into a bake house. Working with daughter Ella, the duo have grown their biscuit business over the last five years to supply Waitrose nationally, as well as 400 independent delis, farm shops and top gourmet outlets.

Arun Kapil, Green Saffron: Pork Cheek Vindaloo – 4pm-4.30pm

Arun Kapil, the spice specialist and chef, will impart his intimate knowledge of spices to demonstrate his modern twist on vindaloo with pork cheek.

Arun honed his uncomplicated style at Ballymaloe Cookery School and kitchens in London. Settling in Ireland’s food capital, Co Cork in 2004, Arun set-up his highly regarded and award winning spice company Green Saffron in 2007.

Enrico Messora, Emilia: Prosecco and Parmigiano5pm-5.45pm

Emilia, based in London’s Borough Market, takes you through a tasting of one of the finest Prosecco Italian sparkling wines available today accompanied with a selection of Italian Artisan cheeses.


Monmouthshire Wales
Gary Nugent

Gary Nugent, Crown at Pantygelli: Pulled Pork11am-11.45am

Gary Nugent will teach onlookers how to get bold flavours into the American favourite, pulled pork. He will demonstrate how to marinade and cook a pulled shoulder of pork along with some perfect accompaniments.

Gary Nugent has been in the catering industry for 20 years and a head chef at The Crown at Pantygelli for the past ten.

James Sommerin: Organicnoon-12.45pm                

James has been in the kitchen since the age of twelve when he kept a Saturday job in an Italian restaurant in Newport. James’ journey then saw him travel to Scotland where he learnt the importance of seasonality, cooked for the opening of Scottish Parliament and was shortlisted for Young Scottish Chef of the Year. He moved back to Wales in 2000. Being awarded the coveted Michelin star as Head Chef of The Crown at Whitebrook in 2007, he now runs his own restaurant, Restaurant James Sommerin, in Penarth.

Romy Gill

Romy Gill: Romy’s Kitchen1pm-1.45pm

Romy Gill will fill the market hall with the aromas of Indian spices, as she demonstrates seasonal dishes including a sweet and sour chicken with ginger, honey and lemon and some quick and easy accompanying dips.

Specialising in Indian cuisine, Romy Gill has her own line of Indian sauces, pickles, spice mixes and chutneys, as well as her own restaurant, Romy’s Kitchen, in Thornbury.

Chris Harrod and Henry Ashby: Foraged Food2pm-2.45pm

The Whitebrook chef patron, Chris Harrod will show how he uses the ingredients foraged by Henry Ashby in dishes at the restaurant.

Chris Harrod, who has worked alongside Raymond Blanc, is the Chef Patron of the Michelin-starred Whitebrook Restaurant with Rooms in the Wye Valley. Chris reopened the restaurant in 2013 and after 11 months of being open it was awarded 1 Michelin star and 3 AA rosettes.

Chepstow’s Henry Ashby is a forager, with over 50 years coastal, meadow and forest foraging and an expertise on wild vegetables herbs and leaves as well as most edible fungi. He is a forager for The Whitebrook and Celt Experience Brewery.

Karl Cheetham with Adele Nozedar: Gliffaes Hotel3pm-3.45pm

Adele Nozedar will be talking about her new book, The Garden Forager, which takes a sideways look at what’s in your garden that is ornamental as well as being edible. Karl Cheetham of Gliffaes Country House Hotel will be cooking with one of the ingredients included, lavender. He will be using Welsh lavender from to make a selection of different tasty and unusual dishes

Ross Williams, The Kilpeck Inn: A love affair with a pig  – 4pm-4.45pm

Ross Williams will show you just how versatile the humble pig is. As well as demonstrating some basic butchery techniques, Ross will cook up and talk about some of his favourite pork dishes.

Ross Williams has been manager and head chef at The Kilpeck Inn since 2012. In 2002 he swapped his life as a public relations consultant in London for running The Wellington, a village pub in rural Herefordshire. With no previous experience, but armed with a passion for food and an appetite for hard work, he transformed The Wellington into one of the county’s best dining pubs. He won ‘Pub Chef of the year’ in 2008, and was a finalist in the Craft Guild of Chefs awards the same year.

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