9 tasty things to do at the Tiny Rebel Newport Food Festival

 

newportff
Headline sponsors Tiny Rebel

 

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.

 

lucknam park
Hywel Jones

Here are 9 tasty things to do at the festival:

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

clam
Clam’s Handmade Cakes 

 

  1. 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!

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

 

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Crowds in 2015

See the full programme of chef demonstrations here: http://www.newportfoodfestival.co.uk/blog/?page_id=3293

 

The 80 exhibitors are:

Ally’s Confectionery

Asia Spice Box

Avril’s Country Kitchen

Baked On Green Street

Batch Farm Cheesemakers

Big G’s Grill

Bill King Artisan Baker 

Black Mountain Smokery

Boonta Too Thai

Bwydiful

Ciao Bella

Claire’s Kitchen

Clam’s Handmade Cakes

Crazy Creperie Ltd

Cwm Deri Vineyard

Dinky Donuts

Doughnutterie

Ele’s Little Kitchen

Ffwrnes Pizza

Flapjack Fairy

Flour’d Up

Fresh As A Daisy

Fuffle

Gower Cottage Brownies

Grandma Bees

Gwynne’s Ice Cream

Heather’s Harvest

Honeybunch Cake Company

Huckleberry Treats

Imaginative Gourmet

Jayne’s Bakes

La Fleur de Chocolat

Meat and Greek

MEAT Bar and Grill

Med Foods Ltd

MoJo The Food Bar and Dog ‘n’ Dough

Mr & Mrs Olives

Mr Croquewich (Creative Kitchen)

Mrs Brown’s Bakes

Myrtle’s Kitchen

Narnas Limited

Noodles In A Box

Old Granary Pierogi

Parc Pantry

Pieroth Ltd

Pizza Wheels

Pretentious Burger Kitchen

Pulled Pork People

Riverford Organic Farms

Roman Legionary Museum

TechniquestRSPB Cymru

Science Cream Ltd

Seasons Farm Foods

Senior Twister

Shivers (Caws Cenarth)

Sorai

Stainswick Farm Oil LLP

Tasty Bites

Techniquest

That Fish Guy

The Parsnipship

The Preservation Society

The Ridgeway Bar & Kitchen

The Welsh Confectionary

Tiny Rebel

Tudor Brewery

Ty Gwyn Cider

Untapped Brewing Company

Urban Jungle Coffee

Varsity Coffee

MARIA WILLIAMS IS A COPYWRITER, PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER AND PR FOR SMALL BUSINESS. VISIT WORDSYOUCANUSE.CO.UK

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Ble i fwyta yn Y Fenni dros yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol

eisteddfod

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.

Digwyddiadau’r wythnos.

TV chefs on the bill at Caernarfon Food Festival

brynwilliams

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.

See more information here: http://www.gwylfwydcaernarfon.cymru/gfc/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/RHAGLEN-YR-WYL-FESTIVAL-PROGRAMME.pdf

 

STALLHOLDERS:

Aderyn Melys

Caernarfon

Cakes and sweet delicacies for all occasions

www.aderynmelys.com

 

Adra

Caernarfon

Quality and contemporary Welsh gifts – all made in Wales

www.adrahome.com

 

Aerona

Pwllheli

Berry products produced in Wales by the Joneses

www.aerona.wales

 

 

Anglesey Cookery School

Llanddona

Bespoke cookery demonstrations and tuition

www.angleseycookeryschool.com

 

Anglesey Hog Roasts

Porthaethwy

Hog roast and “OMG” stacked burgers

www.angleseyhogroasts.co.uk

 

Arlwyo Cae Gwyn

Caernarfon

Catering

Facebook.com/Arlwyo Cae Gwyn Catering

 

Azzi’s Gelato

Bangor

Locally made, homemade natural Italian gelato

Facebook.com/Antoniassis ice cream parlour

 

Becws Islyn

Pwllheli

Local bakery producing homemade bread and cakes daily

Facebook.com/Becws Islyn

 

Beri Da

Caernarfon

Welsh food products hand crafted from home grown Aronia Berries

www.berida.co.uk

 

Big Eat

Caernarfon

Locally-sourced burgers, hot dogs, bacon and sausage baps

jenbigeat@aol.com

 

Bim’s Kitchen

Afonwen, Flintshire

Handmade African inspired sauces and condiments suitable for vegetarians

www.bimskitchen.com

 

Bodnant

Conwy

Welsh food centre, farmshop, tearoom, restaurant, on-site dairy, bakery, butchery

www.bodnant-welshfood.co.uk/

 

Caru Bwyd

Caernarfon

Catering

johnifanjones@sky.com

 

Castell Penrhyn

Llandygai

Conservation charity

www.nationaltrust.org/penrhyncastle

 

Caws Rhyd y Delyn

Pentraeth

Farm cheese

www.cawsrhydydelyn.com

 

Celtic Brownies

Beaumaris

Baked chocolate brownies, caramel shortbread and muffins

www.facebook.com/celtic-brownies

 

Chuckwagon BBQ

Llanfairpwll

American BBQ with a modern twist

http://www.chuckwagonbbq.co.uk/

 

Cocktails on Wheels

Pwllheli

Classic cocktails and mocktails served from a vintage bus converted into a mobile cocktail bar http://cocktails-on-wheels.vpweb.co.uk/

 

Coleg Meirion Dwyfor

Caernarfon

Exhibiting a new pate developed with Patchwork company and sausages made with Glynllifon pigs

http://www.gllm.ac.uk Facebook.com/Coleg Meirion Dwyfor GLlM

 

Conwy Goat Products

Conwy

Handmade farm cheese.

 

Cosyn Cymru

Bethesda

Ewe’s milk cheese, yoghurt, ice cream

 

Dant Melys

Y Felinheli

Cakes, large and small, baked with gluten-free ingredients

www.facebook.com/dantmelys

 

Debbie’s Cake’ole

Blaenau Ffestiniog

Cakes for all occasions, cupcakes, traybakes and savoury tarts

http://www.debbiescakeole.co.uk

 

Dr Zigs

Bangor

Magical bubbles of every shape, size and colour

www.drzigs.co.uk

 

Dylan’s Restaurant

Porthaethwy

www.dylansrestaurant.co.uk

 

Espresso Eccellente

Abergwyngregyn

Mobile espresso service – premium Italian coffee

Facebook.com/Espresso Eccellente

 

Food Station Wales

Caernarfon

Turkish delight and baklava Mediterranean delicacies, including olives, nuts, Turkish delight and baklava

www.foodstation.wordpress.com

 

French Flavour

Wrexham

French artisan foods

www.frenchfavour.co.uk

 

Gastro Grub Hub

Pwllheli

Handmade pies, sausage rolls and Scotch eggs

www.Gastrogrubhub.co.uk

 

Glenlin Crafts

Fancy goods, handmade items, sewing

 

Goetre Farm Preserves

Y Bermo

Welsh farmhouse kitchen preserves, chutneys, mustard, honey and gift packs www.goetrefarmpreserves.co.uk

 

Hootons Homegrown

Brynsiencyn

Farm shop and cafe using home produced fruit, vegetables and meats

www.hootonshomegrown.co.uk

 

Johnny Dough’s Pizzas

Llandudno

Italian-style, thin based wood-fred pizzas

www.jdoughspizzas.co.uk

 

Pizzas Jones’ Pizza Co Ltd

Llanrug

Traditional handmade Neopolitan woodfred pizzas

www.jonespizzaco.com

 

Lori Bwyd Môr

Llanaelharean

Catering for all occasions by local chef, Mel Thomas

info@hafanhire.co.uk

 

Llechwedd Meats

Llangefni

www.llechweddmeats.co.uk/

 

Maggie’s Exotic Foods

Penygroes

www.maggiesexotic.com

 

Mama Zo’s Cookies

Rhyl, LL18 1HY

Vintage-style bakery selling freshly baked cookies

www.mamazoscookies.co.uk

 

Matt and Ben’s

Pwllheli

Fudges, tofees and sauces

www.eboniaceifori.co.uk

 

Menai Oysters and Mussels

Dwyran

www.menaioysters.co.uk

 

J Heard Hughes

Caernarfon

Fresh fish and seafood, with filleting and preparation service

sales@jheardhughes.co.uk

 

Moch Llŷn

Pwllheli

Welsh pork, straight from the farm

www.mochllyn.co.uk

 

Mocha Express

Llandudno

Barista coffee freshly ground from the bean

www.mochaexpress.co.uk

 

New Model Bakery

Blaenau Ffestiniog

Award-winning pasties and breads with mouthwatering cakes and biscuits

Facebook.com/Model-Bakery-BlaenauFfestiniog

 

Môn ar Lwy

Bodorgan

Ice creams and sorbets, bottled water

www.monarlwy.co.uk/

 

Aran Lamb

Bala

Family-run farm business, selling/catering from our own unit trailer

www.aran-lamb.co.uk

 

Oinc Oink

Pwllheli

Welsh pork

goodfood@oincoink.co.uk

 

Pant Du

Family vineyard and orchard from Dyfryn Nantlle

www.pantdu.co.uk

 

Pant Glas Bach Preserves

Llanasa

Jams, marmalades, curds, chutneys, pickles and cordials

www.jams.wales

 

Melys Cheesecakes

Caernarfon

 

Petros Produce

Y Felinheli

Grilled halloumi and lamb wraps

www.camphalloumi

 

Pleser Pur

Garndolbenmaen

Chocolates and preserves from Wales

www.pleserpur.co.uk

 

Poblado

Groeslon

Ethically-sourced and freshly roasted coffee

 

Red Juice Ethnic Jewellery

Nasareth

 

Richlin Dairy Goat Products

Pwllheli

Handmade goat cheeses

Facebook.com/richlindairygoatproducts

 

RSPB Cymru

Bangor

www.rspb.org.uk

 

Shivaree

Tregarth

Pan-fried scallops famed with Penderyn single malt whisky with lemon and tarragon butter

www.shivaree.co.uk

 

Simply Relish

Flintshire

Chutneys, chilli sauces and pickles

www.simplyrelish.co.uk

 

Snap a Star Photobooths

Llanfairpwll

Facebook.com/snapastar

 

Tân y Ddraig Pizzas

Caernarfon

www.tanyddraigpizza.com/

The Mess Tin

Caernarfon

Tatws stix – hot, a chip on a stick, cold, a crisp on a stick

Facebook.com/The Mess Tin

 

The Red Boat Ice Cream Parlour

Beaumaris

www.redboatgelato.com

 

The Wooden Spoon

Homemade puddings, cakes and fresh bakes

Facebook.com/123thewoodenspoon123

 

Treddafydd Organic

Pwllheli

Organic producer of jams and preserves, homegrown and handmade

www.treddafyddfarm.co.uk

 

Tŷ Siocled

Traditional chocolates and sweets from Caernarfon

www.tysiocled.cymru

 

Welsh Luing Beef

Corwen

www.welshluingbeef.co.uk

 

Yr Ardd Fadarch

Beddgelert

Growers and processors of exotic mushrooms at the heart of Snowdonia

www.yrarddfadarch.com

 

Cook the box with top chef Alexlouise Brown

alexlouisebrown

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.

Rhondda Cynon Taff-20160407-00941

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.

Rhondda Cynon Taff-20160407-00947

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.

Rhondda Cynon Taff-20160407-00950

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.

 

‘Everyone wants to order boxes after the event’

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.

To learn more about Riverford South Wales, see their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RiverfordSouthWales/ and to order boxes call 01633 867661.

 Alexlouise’s culinary career

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.

Maria Williams is a professional blogger, copywriter, and PR for small businesses. Go to www.wordsyoucanuse.co.uk.

 

Show some love with a lasting gift for your foodie this Valentine’s Day

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If a box of chocolates simply won’t hack it this Valentine’s Day, Welsh food and drink experts have some perfect ideas for lasting gifts:

For the wine lover

vineyard

White Castle vineyard near Abergavenny has a scheme where you can adopt a vine for your loved-one. That gives them a personalised certificate of adoption valid for a year, a plaque with their name on their adopted vine, a conducted vineyard tour for two people to include a glass of wine to toast the adopted vine, and the chance to join owners Robb and Nicola Merchant at harvest to handpick the grapes from your adopted vine.

The package also includes a bottle of wine from your adopted grape variety to take home and a warm welcome to events taking place throughout the year at The Cellar Door.The price is £45.00 Contact Robb or Nicola on 01873 821443 or email: info@whitecastlevineyard.com. See more details here.

For the chocolate lover

blackmountaingoldchoc

Book a chocolate tasting and making course at Black Mountain Gold based in Crickhowell.

Your loved one can join a three-hour course for £85, or have a one-to-one workshop with master chocolatier Jules for £250. The courses include an introduction to truffle making, tempering, hand rolling and piping ganache, enrobing and detailing, using dipping forks, mouthfeel and cocoa butter, and chocolate moulding techniques. To book and pay for your place please call the shop on 01873 812362. See more details here.

For the fish lover

pollock2

Book  your Valentine a Welsh fish and shellfish cookery course at Bodnant Welsh Foods at Conwy.

The course teaches people how to cook and prepare sustainably-sourced fish and learn techniques such as skinning, filleting and boning. For lunch your Valentine will try the fish and shellfish they have cooked and pair them with matching wines from Bodnant’s onsite wine cellar.

 

The next course is on February 27. Your Valentine will learn to cook lobster bisque, citrus cured salmon, poached pollock and black curry powder, halibut wellington and baked scallops and coconut. The day course costs £115. See more details here.

For the cake and bread lover 

bread-food-healthy-breakfast-large

Your Valentine can hone their baking skills at a half day bakes and cakes course at The Culinary Cottage at Pandy, Abergavenny.

The course will cover beer and soda bread, sweet and savoury pastries, and a chocolate genache-covered creation. The half day course cost £65. See more details here.

For the meat lover

buffalowings

Book your Valentine a place at a Weber Essential course at Angela Grey’s Cookery School in Llanerch Vineyard, Vale of Glamorgan. The course teaches American barbecue, low ‘n’ slow cooking and smokehouse cuisine skills, creating deliciously authentic dishes from scratch. Dishes will include barbecued beef brisket and a side of signature slaw, spicy buffalo wings with gorgonzola dip, stacked ribs, and Bourbon and smoked bacon chocolate brownies.

During the four hours, your Valentine will get hands on with an array of different meats, expand your cooking repertoire on the barbecue and also use the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. The cost is £129. See more details here.

For the veggie lover

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Your Valentine will love the vibrant veggie recipes taught at Kather’s  Kitchen cookery school in Monmouthshire. The dishes will be seasonal The day course costs £85 per person. Call 01292 650801 to book. See more details here.

Maria Williams is a journalist, copywriter, and professional blogger www.wordsyoucanuse.co.uk

 

 

Nine ways to make your Christmas a Welsh feast

Christmas-Dinner

This Christmas, why not support Welsh food producers? Here are nine ways you can make your festive essentials Welsh.

Turkey

Graig Farm in Mochdre produces organic Christmas turkeys from £47.80.

The farm in Montgomeryshire has been in the same family since the 1940s. Jonathan Rees, the proprietor of Graig Farm Organics, has lived there all of his life.   His parents still play an active role, and his wife Sally and three young sons, Maldwyn, Max and Archie, are also involved.

In 1999 the family achieved their ambition to farm organically.   They take watch their lambs and cattle graze on lush pastures full of grasses, clovers and herbs, and the pigs forage in the woods.

In 2002, a purpose built cutting plant was erected on the farm and the family began supplying some of the best restaurants in the country.  The Dorchester in London was one of their first major clients.

www.graigfarm.co.uk.

Potatoes

What better than a potato called Rudolph for your Christmas dinner?

Puffin Produce Ltd, which is majority owned by a group of farmers in Pembrokeshire, is supplied by a farmers in Pembrokeshire and the Wye Valley, grow the red-skinned variety alongside Maris Peer Pembrokeshire Earlies and Estima Bakers. They created the Blas y Tir brand which can now be found in major supermarkets across Wales.

See a list of the growers here http://puffinproduce.com/farmers/grower

Mince pies

The Welsh Hills Bakery in Hirwaun makes gluten-free cakes and pies – perfect for any festive visitor.

The firm charges £2.53 for a box of four luxury mince pies.

Welsh Hills Bakery, an established bakery for nearly 60 years, started making gluten free cakes and short crust pastry pies in 2001 and was the first to supply two of the UK major supermarket chains with their own brand of gluten free products.

In 2008, they launched their own brand of gluten-free products named Lovemore Free From Foods which now includes a range of shortbreads and cookies, along with traditional apple pies and cherry Bakewells, fruit slab cakes and iced cakes along with mince pies.

All Lovemore products are approved by the Coeliac Society.

http://www.lovemorefoods.com/our-range/seasonal/mince-pies/

christmas-pudding-3

Christmas pudding

You could try a Christmas pudding from the Siwgr a Sbeis Bakery in Llanrwst, for between £4 and £12.

The bakery has been a resounding success since it was started in 1989 by two school friends, Rhian Williams and Rhian Owen. It produces an extensive range of cakes (Victoria sponge, coffee cake, carrot cake), muffins, scones, mince pies, flapjacks, fruit cake and Christmas pudding as well as savoury quiches and salads.

Not a fan of Christmas pud? The bakery also makes a speciality called Quiche Eryri, the principal ingredient of which is Snowdonia Cheese and Toffoc Crunch (vodka liqueur). The recipe uses the Welsh vodka liqueur with a crumb base to create a cheesecake-style dessert.

http://www.siwgrasbeis.com/

Brussels sprouts

Try out the sprouts from Whitebrook Organic Growers, based at Llanvaches near Newport, Gwent.

They say there are no pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides used on their produce and all plant and chicken feed used is organic and GM free.

Catch them at Usk Farmers’ Market on December 5 and December 19.

Wine

Sample some of the wines from White Castle Vineyard, Abergavenny, for your table this festive season.

Their 2014 Rondo, a rich, full-bodied red, is £19.50 a bottle, and their sparkling rose is £23 a bottle.

The vineyard’s Gwin gwyn 2014, a dry delicate white wine made from a selected blend of Phoenix and Siegerrebe grape varieties, is £15 a bottle.

http://www.whitecastlevineyard.com/welsh_wines.html

Chocolates

Tuck into something sweet from the Wickedly Welsh Chocolate Company which produces handmade chocolates from its base on the outskirts of Haverfordwest. The company is run by couple Mark and Karen Owen.

The “Decadent Selection” of 48 handmade chocolates costs £35.99.

http://wickedlywelsh.co.uk/shop/

Cheese

Fill your platter with cheeses from Pant Mawr Farmhouse Cheeses. The business was established in 1983 when the Jennings family returned to Wales from the Middle East where they had been involved in setting up some of the first commercial dairy enterprises in Libya and North Yemen.

The family business is run by David, Cynthia and Jason Jennings at their small traditional hill farm in the foothills of the Preseli Mountains at Rosebush, Pembrokeshire.

All their cheese is suitable for vegetarians as they use vegetarian rennet.

Their gold Christmas hamper is £38.25 and includes 1.6kg of all seven of their cheeses, guest cheese Welsh Perl Las, a jar of chutney, mustard, Welsh cakes butter, and shortbread.

http://www.pantmawrcheeses.co.uk/

Liqueurs

Condessa based at Holyhead, Anglesey, has been making the Welsh liqueurs for over 40 years. The firm’s range includes fruit to cream liqueurs, cocktail recipes and liqueur gift boxes.

Its Original Welsh Cream is £14.65 for 50cl, while its Welsh sloe gin is £15.46 per 50cl bottle.

http://www.condessa.co.uk/
 

 

 

Tutored tastings, produce, and demonstrations at Monmouthshire Food Festival

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Gin distillers Warner Edwards

There is set to be a feast for foodies at this weekend’s Monmouthshire Food Festival in Caldicot Castle.

The event will feature food and drink producers, chef demonstrations, a children’s quarter, and recipes cooked up by chefs from the Royal Navy.

bread
Artisan baker Bill King

The festival’s Look and Learn section will feature demonstrations and tutored tastings from artisan baker Bill King, Black Mountain Gold chocolates, Brecon Brewing, Gwatkin Cider, Morgan’s Brew Tea, Rayeesa’s Indian Kitchen, Varsity Coffee, and Warner Edwards, craft distillers of gin.

The festival entry fee is £5, children under 12 go free. The event is held between 10am and 4.30pm on October 10 and 11.

Demonstrations:


Clive Williams, Head Chef at the Parkway Hotel and Spa

Clive has a passion for local produce, and has held positions in many top restaurants and hotels in the area before moving to the Parkway Hotel as Head Chef in 2012.

Michael Hendry, Head Chef at Llansantffraed Court Hotel

Since starting as Head Chef in 2013, Michael has transformed the hotel’s dining room and celebration menus.

Kyle Wilson, Head Chef of Sawyers Bar and Grill

Kyle began his career as a pot washer at the Fwrrwm Ishta restaurant. He is now head chef at Sawyers bar and Grill in Magor.

Adrian Walker Master Butcher from Golden Valley

Under Adrian’s management, Golden Valley Meat and Game has been supplying the highest quality meat, poultry and game to the retail and catering industry for nearly 25 years.

Julie Carey, Head Chef Glen yr Afon House Hotel

Julie has been a chef for twenty seven years, originally training at Nash College in Newport.

Cai England, Head Chef Piercefield St Arvans

Cai began his culinary career as a pot washer aged 12. Through hard work and determination he has worked his way up the position of Head Chef.

Matthew Long, Head Chef Raglan Arms, Llandenny

Matt heads up a small team, dedicated to producing exceptionally good food, with a focus to provide perfectly cooked, beautifully presented food using local ingredients.

Ross Cooper Senior Sous Chef, St. Pierre Marriott Hotel

Ross was inspired by his late grandmother’s amazing pasties. These days, Ross is Senior Sous Chef at St. Pierre Marriott Hotel and Country Club.

Aidan Fisher, Head Chef at the New Inn, Chepstow

Aidan trained as a chef at Le Cordon Bleu in London before working in a variety of excellent dining establishments including the 3 rosette Terry M restaurant for four years.

Producers:

A Lot of Waffle
American style waffles

Baked on Green Street
Artisan baker specialising in bread, doughnuts and savoury breads.

Black Mountain Gold
Luxury chocolate
www.blackmountaingold.org

Brecon Brewing
A range of draught and bottled beers and breweriana
www.breconbrewing.co.uk

Carn Edward
Longhorn beef and pedigree Lleyn lamb and mutton
www.carnedward.co.uk

Castles Brewery
Real ale
www.castlesbrewery.co.uk

Chockshop
Chocolate brownies of distinction.
www.chockshop.co.uk

Dimkin’s Patisserie
French macaroons, savoury snacks and pastries
www.dimkin.co.uk

Field Bar Wine
Homemade fruit and flower wines
www.fieldbarwine.co.uk

Good and Proper Brownies
Baked chocolate goods and gluten and sugar bakes

Gwatkin Cider
Award winning cider and perry
www.gwatkincider.co.uk

Hedonist Bakery
Artisan bread part baked to finish at home.
www.hedonistbakery.co.uk

Marmahs Cheeses
Organic and handmade artisan Welsh cheeses.

Meera’s Kitchen
Indian samosas, bhajis, spring rolls and pekoras

Mini Jar Company
Specialised artisan preserves.
www.minijarcompany.co.uk

Morgans Brew Tea
Forty four varieties of loose leaf teas

Natures Pantry
Natural seed and nut butters, honey and honey mixes.

Old Granary Pierogi
Polish style baked handmade pierogi with gourmet meat and vegetable fillings.

Rayeesa’s Indian Kitchen
Frozen curry sauces
www.rayeesasindiankitchen.com

Stainswick farm Oil
Cold pressed rape seed oil
www.stainswickfarm.co.uk

The Artisan & Farmhouse Cheese Company
West Country Farmhouse cheddar cheese

The Parsons Nose
Homemade speciality sausages and Dexter burgers.
www.theparsonsnose.com

Three Counties Liqueurs
Handmade frit liqueurs and fruit preserves.
www.3countiesliqueurs.co.uk

Ty Gwyn Cider
Craft cider
www.tygwyncider.co.uk

Tyrrell’s Family Food
Meat pies, faggots, pork pies and Scotch eggs.

Veggie Deli
Vegetarian and vegan Glamorgan sausages, pastries, savoury scones.
www.veggiedeli.co.uk

Warner Edwards Distillery
Dry gin, Elderflower infused gin, Sloe Gin and Victoria’s rhubarb gin
www.warneredwards.com

Food traders delighted as thousands visit Newport Food Festival

Street food on offer at the festival
Street food on offer at the festival

Thousands of people lined the streets of Newport today for the Admiral Newport Food Festival.

As chef demonstrations took place in locations like Newport Market, more than 70 stalls were selling produce to the public outside in the streets – from street food to home made chutneys, cakes, and chocolates.

Last year, the event attracted 13,000 people, and it’s hoped that number will be beaten when this year’s attendance total is totted up.

Many traders have been attracted by the fact the event is free – unlike some of the other food festivals in south Wales, including Abergavenny.

Wales
Odette Phillips of Clam’s Handmade Cakes

Odette Phillips, of the family firm Clam’s Handmade Cakes, said: “It’s better than Abergavenny for us as it’s free so people have more money to spend with traders like us.”

Mrs Phillips said trade had been brisk at today’s event.

“Many came because of the macaroons we made especially for the event – we’ve sold out now!” she said.

“This is our second year, and it’s been very busy. There’s a great atmosphere.”

Claire's Kitchen preserves
Claire’s Kitchen preserves

Ant Cook, who set up Parc Pantry in Malpas 13 months ago with business partner Matt Ellis, agreed.

“It’s been very busy. We wanted to come last year, but we’d just set up and it wasn’t feasible. We’ve always wanted to be part of the city centre, though business rates make that difficult for many companies like ours. Events like this mean we can have a presence in the city centre and more people of Newport can get to know us,” he said.

Three months ago, Parc Pantry took over tea rooms in Belle Vue Park in the city – and have now obtained a licence to hold weddings there.

“We’ve had around 12 weddings. We also have control of the bandstand, and we are planning a Christmas market in Belle Vue,” Mr Cook added.

Chocolates on display
Chocolates on display

Alex Culpin of Ty Gwyn Cider, which started life in the Monnow Valley and is now based at Pontrilas on the Monmouthshire/Herefordshire border, was at the event for the first time.

“We’ve been impressed with this event,” he said.

“We go to a number of food festivals including Abergavenny and Ludlow. This event has been really busy – a lot of people are buying rather than just sampling and moving on.

“A number of other alcohol producers might be put off because the event itself doesn’t have an alcohol licence. But it’s very simple to get a special licence yourselves, and it shouldn’t put people off.”

On the Ty Gwyn stall was the Ty Gwyn Dabinett cider, which I sampled.

The cider is produced from a mixture of Michelin and Dabinett  apples, and is a sparkling medium cider which I found refreshing, perfectly fruity and with just the right amount of spritz. Little surprise that Ty Gwyn’s ciders have won fans across the UK, including Hotel Inspector Alex Polizzi.

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Crowds at the Admiral Newport Food Festival

Share your mouth-watering images from the Admiral Newport Food Festival

lucknam park
Hywel Jones

Share your pictures and video of the Admiral Newport Food Festival with Gusto.

I’ll be attending the event on Saturday, and I’d love to see your images from the big day which is set to attract thousands of visitors. You can tweet me on @MWilliamsJourno, email maria-williams1967@blackberry.orange.co.uk, or leave your images on the Gusto Facebook page here.

To get your mouths watering, here’s the line-up for the chef and producer demonstrations, headlined by Lucknam Parks’s Hywel Jones, and all are free. There will be more than 70 stalls in the city centre.

One of the demonstrators, Hang Fire Smoke House, has just announced it will be publishing a new book. The slow barbecue specialists say: “We’ve completed the first draft already and will be finalising the photoshoots and last edits soon. We’re looking at a release in May 2016. In our book, we’ll show you how we built our trailer smoker, tips on converting any grill into a home smoker, take you though our road trip where we went coast-to-coast and, of course, tons of recipes to try at home.”

Demonstrations will be held upstairs in Newport Market and due to a last minute change the other stage will be in the foyer of the Seren Group offices at the top of High Street (bus stop end)

The festival also has a bonus demonstration area- the Coleg Gwent training suite in the Royal Chambers building on High Street.

UPSTAIRS NEWPORT MARKET

Teenchef Final 11am
Hywel Jones- Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa 12 noon
Simon Crockford- Celtic Manor Resort 1pm
Rickie Ash – The Ridgeway Bar and Kitchen 2pm
Steve White – The Ruperra Arms 3pm
Curry Cook off – Poppadoms vs Rachel’s Curry Kitchen 4pm

SEREN GROUP FOYER (TOP OF HIGH STREET)

Emma Evans – The Green Caerleon 11:30am
Dimitri Baylis – Mojo The FoodBar 12:30pm
Jamie O’Leary – Jols Food Co 1:30pm
Hang Fire Smoke House 2:30pm
Adam Whittle – Celtic Manor Resort 3:30pm
Bruno – Bruno’s Bakery and Patisserie Caerleon 4:30pm

COLEG GWENT TRAINING SUITE- ROYAL CHAMBERS (HIGH STREET)

First Aid in the kitchen with Coleg Gwent 12 noon
Gwent Beekepers – Bees and Beekeeping 1pm
Food Hygiene awareness with Coleg Gwent 2pm
Cocktails – Christos Kyriakidis Mixologist at Mojo the FoodBar 3pm

PICTURES: Images from Abergavenny Food Festival as thousands attend last day

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Crowds line the streets for Abergavenny Food Festival PICTURE: Huw John Photography

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:

south Wales
Chef Theo Randall PICTURE: Huw John Photography
Abergavenny
Crowds in the Brewery Yard PICTURE: Tim Woodier
street food
A visitor tries pulled pork PICTURE: Tim Woodier
chefs
Hemsley + Hemsley were pick of the day
PICTURE: Huw John Photography
food festival
Olia Hercules gave a masterclass in traditional Ukranian cooking PICTURE: Huw John

food
Sizzling prawns PICTURE Tim Woodier
chef
Yottam Ottolenghi PICTURE: Tim Woodier
fruit and vegetables
Tomatoes on sale PICTURE: Tim Woodier
Le Manoir
Raymond Blanc in conversation with Sheila Dillon PICTURE: Huw John Photography