Thousands of people attended the third and final day of Abergavenny Food Festival today to rub shoulders with world class chefs, join in with tasting sessions and sample the delights of the 220 stallholders along the bustling market streets.
Hemsley + Hemsley were pick of the day with not one but two interactive tasting sessions, showcasing recipes from their new recipe book to 160 attentive festival goers.
The Hemsley sisters weren’t the only ones doing it for the ladies; Observer food rising star, Olia Hercules gave a masterclass in traditional Ukrainian cooking, Gizzi Erskine talked recipes from her new book ‘Healthy Appetite’ and the first ladies of ‘cue, Hang Fire Smokehouse gave away some of their top BBQ tips to a full house.
Newly appointed Chairwoman of the Festival, Melanie Doel said. “Abergavenny food festival has truly established itself as the hub of food debate across Britain. For anyone in the food business, including all the top chefs, Abergavenny was the place to be this weekend.”
Heather Myers, Chief Executive of the Festival added, “A lot of hard-work and dedication goes into organising the Festival and it’s amazing to see that it has all paid off.
“We’d like to thank all the chefs and professionals involved in the masterclasses and demonstrations along with the thousands of people that came to see us this weekend. We hope you had as fantastic a time as we did. Next up is the Christmas Fair on the December 13 and of course, Abergavenny Food Festival 2016.”
Here’s a selection of the tastiest photographs from the festival from photographers Tim Woodier and Huw John:
More than 13,000 people are expected to visit this weekend’s Mold Food and Drink Festival, headlined by TV chef Paul Rankin.
There is a packed programme of events, with Rankin in action in three slots tomorrow, at 11.20am, 1.30pm and 3.35pm.
Rankin, who starred alongside fellow chef Nick Nairn in Paul and Nick’s Big Trip, ran Roscoff, the first Northern Ireland restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star.
Masterchef runner up Dean Edwards takes to the stage for three demonstrations today. Founding member of the Welsh National Culinary Team Graham Tinsley, who worked under Anton Mosimann at The Dorchester, is staging two demonstrations today, as does Ian Purcell of the Cibo at St David’s restaurant in Mold.
James Elwood, who runs Anne’s Patisserie with his wife, gives a masterclass in patisserie at 2.30pm tomorrow.
Vegan cookbook writer Lee Watson will give a taste of India vegan cookery demonstration at 12.30pm tomorrow.
Head chef at Mold’s The Fat Boar, Phil Peacock, will give a three course meal demonstration this afternoon.
There is also live music, a children’s cookery school, and interactive food and craft workshops.
Admission for the event at Y Dderwen – The Oak, Hendre: Adults pay £5, children £2, or a family ticket for two adults and two children is £10.
This unique liqueur is made with hand picked aronia berries from plants grown on the family farm and other natural ingredients – no juice from concentrate, artificial colourings or preservatives are used in our liqueur. Every bottle is unique as they are all hand filled, crafted and finished.
Charles Hough has been making cheese for more than 20 years. Located in Knutsford, Cheshire, the family business has been in farming for many generations. Individually waxed, handmade farmhouse cheese in various flavours including parsley and garlic’ vintage; chive and onion, cranberry, ginger and tomato and basil.
Big Star Food
Southern US inspired food including pulled pork and fried chicken.
Black Dog Wine Agency is born of a love of all things New Zealand. We aim to bring you the most exciting wines being made the length and breadth of this amazing country. As we don’t sell wines from anywhere else, we can concentrate on sniffing out the very best New Zealand has to offer.
Caffeine Rush has been developed by the Exchange Coffee Company. We import and roast the finest quality coffees in the world. Our coffee buyers purchase beans only on the basis of their cup quality. We carefully hand roast each bean to perfection in small batches and then it is packed straight after roasting to seal in the freshness, capturing that elusive ingredient ‘aroma’.
Mold is proud to be the first Cittaslow town in Wales, part of the International Cittaslow Movement – improving the quality of life for our community. Mold was accredited as a Cittaslow town during the first Mold Food and Drink Festival 10 years ago. Visit our stand for information about what’s happening in Mold and the beautiful surrounding areas.
Coopers create products using only the best possible ingredients, all with local provenance. Our gourmet sausage rolls are made in Shrewsbury and sold at farmers’ markets, delis, farm shops and rural outlets. Once tasted, they are never forgotten.
We offer cakes, cupcakes chocolate lollipops also personalized chocolate & much more, the sweet trees are a new addition to what we do they come in different sizes & a wide variety of sweets to suit everybody.
FoodStation Ltd is based in Snowdonia, North Wales surrounded by glorious views and so we know how to appreciate good things and that is why we sell the highest quality and freshness produce. As a new company that is growing from third year of trading, we are growing in strength with every show we trade. We have young enthusiastic staff working for us who are always on hand to serve our customers with a smile. All our produce is of highest quality and fresh at time of sale. We can guarantee that you will not be disappointed with our service or our produce.
The Spoon Ring, a tradition dating back to 17th century Britain, the silver spoon ring was created by the poorer people eg. servants who had access to steal a silver spoon from the Manor house and have it fashioned into a ring for their wedding, as they could not afford to buy precious metalled rings.
North Wales Brewery began brewing in 2008. Beers such as Abergele Ale, Welsh Stout, Bodelwyddan Bitter and our specialised Chilli are sold in bottles at farmers markets, food festivals and seasonal shows. Alongside our traditional real ales we produce traditional soft drinks including; Dandelion & Burdock, Ginger, Spiced Apple and Cherry.
Our sausages are from the four finest parts of our rare breed free range pigs. These parts are the, shoulder joint, leg, pork chops and belly pork. All slightly seasoned, but more importantly made using all natural skins and nothing synthetic, unlike some competitors. The proof of the pudding is every food festival we attend, we sell out.
Y Bragdy Mŵs Piws / The Purple Moose Brewery is a ’40-Barrel’ micro-brewery based in the historic harbour town of Porthmadog, North Wales, close to the mountains of Snowdonia. Brewing commenced on 14th June 2005 with a one-off special pale ale at 3.5% called ‘No.1′.
We are traditional in our methods of production, all of our juice is pressed through a cloth or hair, with either one of our many Victorian oak beam screw presses, or one of our vintage hydraulic presses.
Our Cider & Perry rely on their natural yeasts & tannins to ferment. It is with our wealth of knowledge & experience that we can offer a range of products to suit many tastes.
Caterers based in Worcester also offering Catering Services to the West Midlands, Hog Roasts, Hot Buffets, English Breakfasts, Big Pans and Mexican Food. Wedding Caterer, Christenings and Party Catering, Corporate Event Caterer and Themed Party Catering.
Su Casa of Oswestry in Shropshire provide large and small events with outstanding catering inspired by world cuisine that can liven up any business meeting or give a memorable aspect to your family gathering and celebration.
Vegetarian pates, chicken liver pates, Welsh rarebit and fish pates.
At Venture we capture your precious moments in time and beautifully present them in our stunning hand-crafted product. Our innovative photoshoots, exceptional photography quality and first class customer service continues to redefine family photography, creating lasting memories for generations to come.
It’s true, Wrexham Lager is back. Since the sad day that it closed in 2000 we know that a lot of people have missed the great taste of Wrexham Lager and now after 10 years absence that great taste is back.
MARIA WILLIAMS gets a flavour of the first full day of this year’s Abergavenny Food Festival:
Olive seller Zenon Poyiadjo comes to Abergavenny from the wild country of Epirus, Greece, via his base in Ludlow.
He is one of just three stallholders at this year’s Abergavenny Food Festival who were at the original event.
“When I first arrived here, there were stalls for animals behind the Market Hall here,” The Olive Press owner says.
Now, of course, the festival has grown into one of Britain’s biggest food events and has expanded into the Brewery Yard behind the hall, to the castle, Priory, the artisan kitchen school on Baker Street, Chadwick’s Place, Nevill Street and St John’s Square. It is hoped more than 30,000 people will attend this year.
“The thing which has remained the same is the welcome. There was always a great welcome in Abergavenny, and I always felt it was a cultured place,” Mr Poyiadjo says.
As visitors start to stream into the Market Hall, Duffy Sheardown of Duffy’s Chocolates is gearing up for his first Abergavenny Food Festival underneath this year’s art project, the giant goats dangling from the roof.
He and his team have come from Cleethorpes, “We were attracted by the festival’s great reputation,” he says.
The mixture of produce and styles has something for everyone, a great part of the festival’s attraction.
In the Market Hall, just one of the festival’s sites, you can find Welsh ice cream, Turkish delight and other Middle Eastern sweets from London-based Arabica Food and Spice, spirits from Herefordshire’s Chase Distillery, Coedcanlas honeys and marmalades from Pembrokeshire, and meats from the Black Mountains Smokery.
Chef Simon King, of Restaurant 1861 near Abergavenny, is demonstrating how to cook with wasabi. Once he’s finished his slot, it’s back off to his restaurant for his lunchtime service.
He does, however, have time to show us how to create a side salad for his fish dish with produce from his father-in-law’s garden.
There’s oak leaf lettuce, beetroot leaves, chickweed shoots, marigolds and nasturtiums. A worker lets us smell black vinegar infused with seaweed as the chef completes his dish.
Outside in the Brewery Yard, there’s biltong, cakes, pulled pork, and pancakes with a Welsh flavour at Crempog.
Breton Loic Moinon, of Llantwit Major’s Crempog, has been coming to the festival for seven years. “It has just got bigger and better,” he says.
“Now, of course, we also have the night market, which means we are busier than ever.”
At Abergavenny Castle, there is entertainment from acts like Abergavenny Borough Band, and somewhere to relax with a real ale in the shadow of the Blorenge mountain.
For local food businesses, food festival weekend in Abergavenny is an important part of the calendar.
At Chadwick’s Place, where stallholders selling cheese, wine and spirits gather, Blaenafon Cheddar’s Susan Fiander-Woodhouse is dressed as a pirate – to celebrate Pirate’s Day. She has been coming to the festival for eight years.
“It’s just got better and better,” she says.
“It’s very important to us.”
The firm matures some of its cheddar underground in Big Pit – something which in the past surprised visitors to the festival.
“We had some very posh people who tasted it and said there was no way that could have been matured in a mine,” she says.
“One of the Big Pit guides happened to be in the crowd. He told them: ‘Yes it is, and I take it underground.’ They bought a lot of it!”
Cwm Deri Vineyard from Martletwy, Pembrokeshire, is nearby – visitors are tasting its sloe gin, and buying its liqueurs and wines.
At the Angel Hotel, festival chairwoman Melanie Doel introduces Cyrus Todiwala of Cafe Spice Namaste – which has a stall at Abergavenny Castle. The chef who has been coming to the Monmouthshire event for the past 13 years helped to officially open the festival’s Friday night events.
He says: “Britain is all about great produce, and there is a concentration of that here.
“Abergavenny is all about its welcome and its people. Everyone says hello to you in the street, and all the producers and stallholders have become friends. Abergavenny is just the most amazing place to be.”
Tonight marks the start of the biggest event in my home town’s calendar – the Abergavenny Food Festival.
More than 30,000 visitors are set to snack their way through our streets, buy Monmouthshire produce, and sample the best of our hospitality.
If you’re coming, you will be met with a feast of a festival, but there’s so much on offer you might miss out on a few things which we locals benefit from all year round.
That’s why I’m going to tell you how to eat like an Abergavenny local, and show you a few foodie gems. I’ll also give you a few ideas on what to do to see the best of our town between sampling the delights of the food festival.
Abergavenny is the home of the coffee shop. There are dozens of them, along the main streets and tucked away in side streets and lanes. You will find the perfect latte or mocha for you. One of my favourites is For The Love Of Cake at 59a Frogmore Street. There is a vintage vibe, and one of its main selling points is the fact it serves Clam’s Handmade Cakes, which are a great local favourite. The cake business grew out of Clam’s coffee house which was established in Abergavenny in 1981. Now from its base outside the town, it has a team of 20 people making hand-made cakes.
The taste of the woodland, pasture, and heath land in Monmouthshire is the essence of the attraction of Skirrid Honey. Makers Les and Jill Chirnside, who are based near the slopes of the Skirrid mountain, have hives around Monmouthshire, and have been making honey for the past 25 years.
Honey is also available on the comb, hand cut from the hive and the by-products are used in candle making and polishes. The couple are also interested in supporting and encouraging beekeepers in developing countries; they do this by giving charitable talks and demonstrations to local groups to raise funds.
Look out for Ty Bryn Cider and apple juice made in the village of Grosmont at Upper House Farm, a working farm which has been farmed by three generations of the Watkins family. The cider is produced from apples grown in grazed orchards.
The juice, from many varieties of apples, some old like ‘Tom Putt’ and some more modern varieties like Dabinett, is pressed on the farm, where it is matured in traditional oak barrels. These are stored in a stone cellar that was built for storing cider back in the 1700’s.
Over the past few years their perry and ciders have won several awards including four consecutive gold awards for the sweetened sparkling bottled cider at the Welsh Championships.
Those looking for Welsh lamb should try Pen-y-Wyrlod lamb which comes from a flock of organic, slow-matured, pedigree black Welsh mountain sheep raised on a 20 hectare upland farm in the shadow of the Skirrid mountain. The lambs are born at the end of March and are fed almost exclusively on herb-rich organic grass until they reach full weight at around 9 to 12 months old.
Llanfoist is home to Sorai sauces, dipping sauces which use chilli to make sauces in a variety of strengths, from mild to hot. And Llanvetherine’s White Castle Vineyard, run by Robb and Nicola Merchant, has wines which are perfect to complement local produce.
The five acre vineyard was planted in two phases, May 2009 and May 2010, with six varieties, with a total of 4500 vines. The varieties are Pinot Noir, Regent, Rondo, Seyval Blanc, Phoenix and Siegerrebe.
If you are a tea aficionado, make sure you try Chantler Teas.
The Abergavenny company offers a wide range of high quality loose leaf and herbal teas from around the world. These include well known and occasional rare varieties of teas, such as oolong and white for the discerning tea drinker. Chantler stocks over 40 different types of loose leaf tea including green, white, Oolong and black teas.
Find out about more produce local to our area at madeinmonmouthshire.com.
Take a step back from the crowds and walk from Homes of Elegance around the base of the castle towards the Castle Meadows. Along the way, you’ll discover the Abergavenny Community Orchard.
Abergavenny Area Community Orchards and Gardens CIC was established in September 2011, to take forward community fruit and vegetable growing projects in the area. The group’s long term vision is to establish a series of community gardens, orchards and allotment sites, throughout Abergavenny and its neighbouring areas, serving each neighbourhood and providing people with the opportunity to grow their own food, with all the benefits of exercise, enjoyment and personal sustainability that brings.
If you walk along Tudor Street, which runs parallel to the main street, outside the police station you’ll also see a vegetable bed grown by the Incredible Edible Abergavenny group. The community organisation is an initiative which aims to plant fruit and vegetables in public places for anyone to help themselves. Find out more here https://www.facebook.com/incredibleedibleaber/info?tab=page_info
If you’re looking to walk off the treats from the festival, and get some fantastic views, take the Blorenge mountain road and park near Keeper’s Pond, or further up the mountain at the Foxhunter car park. From either of those, you could walk to the trig point on top of the Blorenge, and look back down over Abergavenny for some excellent views in good weather.
For those who like to do their walking on the flat, drive to the nearby Goytre Wharf (south of Abergavenny on the A4042) where you can stroll along the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal as barges and boats drift past. There’s also a little peace to be had away from the crowds in Linda Vista Gardens, also on Tudor Road.
What’s on at the festival:
Tom Kerridge, the Hemsley sisters and Olia Hercules, will be joined by over fifty foodies who will share their culinary passion and expertise, demonstrating everything from baking to foraging, tea tasting to cooking up cultural delicacies.
Raymond Blanc will be appearing in his capacity as President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association. In conversation with Sheila Dillon from BBC Radio 4’s Food and Farming programme, Raymond will explore the roots of his passion for produce, dread of waste and respect for the land. He will reveal how early lessons learned from Maman Blanc have guided him throughout his career as chef and restaurateur – and how only by understanding that food connects with every part of our lives, can we truly secure a future for our food.
Be amongst the first to get your hands on the much-lauded new book by celebrated chef and author, Yotam Ottolenghi. NOPI: The Cookbook. Yotam, alongside his head chef, Ramael Scully, will bring the inventive NOPI ethos to the festival, pushing culinary boundaries.
The Festival line up also boasts Bake-Off champion Frances Quinn guiding you through her unique style of baking; exciting new London trio, The Groundnut Boys demonstrating recipes from their African Heritage with a contemporary twist and Festival favourite Cyrus Todiwala who has been changing perceptions of Indian cuisine since his arrival in the UK from Goa in 1991.
Alongside household names are some demonstrations with a difference; Jon Old from the Wasabi Company will talk visitors through how, from a secret location in the UK, they grow one of the world’s most expensive crops and Mitch Tonks, renowned for his radical career change from accountancy to fishmongering, will be demonstrating recipes from his book The Seahorse, inspired by Italy and the South West of England.
In addition to food, the festival boasts a number of cocktail, foraging and alcohol master classes. James Chase from Chase Distillery will expertly guide you through spirits, wines and ciders, while author and forager by day, Andy Hamilton presents ‘Wild Booze and Hedgerow Cocktails’ showing you how you can make delicious cocktails from a hedgerow near you.
Heather Myers, Chief Executive of the Festival said: “This year’s line-up is our biggest and best to date and definitely the most varied.
“Whether you want to come along and explore the market, sample produce from over 220 hand-picked stallholders, or watch demonstrations from some of the finest chefs and food adventurers today, there really is something for everyone.”
Local success story Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn from Hang Fire Smokehouse came to the Festival last year as stallholders and return this year on the bill, since winning BBC Radio 4’s Food and Farming award for Best Street Food 2015.
Sam said: “It’s incredible that just one year on from our first appearance at Abergavenny Food Festival, and just two years since starting this business, we will be standing where our inspirations from the food industry have stood. We’re looking forward to both feeding the Festival goers our brand of Welsh slow and low BBQ and being a part of the Festival over the weekend.”
Shauna added: “This Festival is the highlight of the foodie event calendar and we’re delighted to be included in all aspects of the programme, for the first time, as we share the alchemy of meat smoking.”
Alongside the bursting programme, Festival favourites return including the Night Market, transforming the Lower Brewery Yard into a magical place to eat, drink and hangout. New for 2015, the Festival will introduce the Meat Market, where you’ll find a selection of the best meats and butcher demonstrations Wales has to offer. The new Craft Brewery will create a relaxing area to sample some of Wales’ best-loved craft brews and ciders.
With parties on both tonight (Swing Time at the Castle) and tomorrow (Party at the Castle) evenings, visitors can experience music, dancing and food in the enchanted atmosphere of Abergavenny’s ancient castle.
The Artisan Kitchen School gives a unique opportunity to receive expert tuition first hand, taking your creations home with you. Children can show off their culinary talents at the Food Academy with a weekend of free hands on workshops for over 320 children and activities to tempt the most budding mini-master chef.
Fast becoming an institution of the Festival, Rude Health Rants are back for their seventh year in a row. The team, led by co-founder and chief ranter Nick, are a proudly outspoken gang who aren’t afraid of standing up for real, honest food.
More than 70 food and drink exhibitors have confirmed their attendance at the Admiral Newport Food Festival on October 3.
Exhibitors based in Newport will include A Lot of Waffle – a new company selling American waffles with sweet and savoury toppings, Big Fish Little Fish –a business sells crayfish nachos, Curry on the Curve – selling healthy Indian cuisine, Noodles in a Box, and Pulled Pork People. All these businesses will be exhibiting for the first time.
Two of Newport’s newest restaurants will also be showcasing their dishes, Meat Bar and Grill located on Clytha Park Road and Mojo The Foodbar on Clarence Place.
Mojo has Andy Beaumont at the helm. He has previously worked at Michelin-starred restaurant Tyddn Llan and also starred in the BBC series, Great British Menu last year.
Other city-based businesses with stalls are the Café at Ridgeway and Ruperra Arms in Bassaleg.
Avril’s Country Kitchen and Needham’s fishmonger’s based in Newport Indoor Market will return to the event which celebrates its fifth birthday this year. There will be locally produced Welsh cakes from Fresh as a Daisy. All of these businesses have supported the festival since the very first one in 2011.
The brewery with the Great British Beer Festival’s champion beer of Britain, Cwtch, the Tiny Rebel Brewing Company, will also be in attendance. Gower Cottage Brownies and Meat and Greek Ltd, regulars at the recent Street Food Circus in Cardiff will also be in Newport.
Breweries Otley and Tiny Rebel are staging a fully independent craft beer festival in Cardiff this bank holiday weekend.
The three-day event will see beers and ciders from 25 breweries, including Pontypridd’s Otley Brewing Company, Newport’s Tiny Rebel, which recently won the accolade for Britain’s top beer with its ale Cwtch, The Celt Experience, Hallet’s Cider, Bristol Beer Factory, Brecon Brewing,Crafty Brewing, Arbor, Heavy Industry, and the Tenby Brewing Company. There will also be streetfood stalls.
Each visitor gets entry to the venue, Depot, at 22, Dumballs Road, Cardiff, a programme, and their branded half pint tasting glass for £5.
Opening times; Friday – Trade – 12-3pm; Public – 3-11pm; Saturday – 12-5pm and 6-11pm; Sunday – 12-11pm.
Tickets can be pre-ordered online here, or you can pay on the door. For trade tickets please contact firstname.lastname@example.org