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

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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