Sunday, 17 September 2017

Abergavenny Food Festival Highlights

Abergavenny Indoor Market with Chicken Decorations

Abergavenny Food Festival is a much loved event that champions the best of British food and up and coming young chefs. For 2017 the market town celebrated its 19th edition of the festival with a huge programme that involved the whole community.

Elly Pear Cooking Masterclass at Abergavenny Food Festival

I was pleased to partner with Abergavenny Food Festival this year and giveaway tickets to one of my readers via my Facebook pagehope you enjoyed it!
The festival slogan is 'real food, real farmers, real chefs', with a goal to engage the public in the process of growing to cooking and encourage a healthy food culture. Chief Executive Aine Morris shared that 'good food' and a 'sense of community' is at Abergavenny's heart, beginning with a Community Feast on Thursday evening by the team at Angel Bakery.

Elly Pear's Lets Eat Recipes

Over the course of the two days tasting workshops, masterclasses and debates were on the menu, headlined by the likes of Broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Chef Tom Kerridge, Journalist Jay Rayner and Food Photographer Rob Wicks.

Elly Pear signing her new book 'Let's Eat'

I attended Elly Pear's packed out Masterclass where she demonstrated recipes from her new book 'Let's Eat!', whipping up an appetising meat-free brunch with a sherry and beetroot Bloody Mary. Fellow food blogger and rising star Imran Nathoo (Masterchef Finalist) was also in attendance on the Lower Brewery Yard stage.

Linda Vista Gardens Abergavenny
Riverford's Flavour Patch

From the grounds of Abergavenny's Market to the hill top Abergavenny Castle, the scale of the festival is surprising with all ages able to enjoy activities and the food and drink offerings until late in the evening.

Guy Watson from Riverford
Flowers in Linda Vista Gardens in Abergavenny

I had no idea about the Linda Vista gardens in Abergavenny, so it was lovely to explore this green space and break away from the liveliness of the High Street and Market. Part of the garden was transformed into a relaxed food and drink hub featuring Riverford's Flavour Patch (inside a yurt) and Belazu who were treating spectators to freshly prepared canapés.

Riverford Flavour Patch Yurt
Champagne
Belazu cooking masterclass at Abergavenny Food Festival
Belazu's sea bass tartare on a baby gem lettuce cup
Belazu stall at Abergavenny Food Festival
Belazu Venison Tartare Canapé
Great Chase Vodka Bottle
Pop up yurts at the Abergavenny Food Festival
Riverford Vegetable Boxes

The festival is a perfect opportunity to shop around for fresh produce coming at the peak of the harvest. Locally foraged seasonings, Snowdonia Cheese and the Isle of Wight's Garlic Farm are just a few of the delights on sale. I can vouch for the garlic quality after visiting the farm just a few weeks ago.

The Garlic Farm Isle of Wight Food Stall
Food Stalls at Abergavenny Food Festival

You can also be sure to not leave hungry with established Street Food pop ups like Dusty Knuckle Pizza and Meat and Greek taking residence alongside sweet temptations Churros Con Chocolate, Gower Cottage Brownies and Monmouth's Green and Jenks Gelato.

Crepes with banana and nutella
Abergavenny Food Festival Cheese and Wine Market Stalls
Abergavenny Food Festival Cheese Toastie Stall
Forage Food stall at Abergavenny Food Festival
Food and drink stalls at Abergavenny Food Festival

As the biggest food festival of its kind in Wales it's certainly worth bearing in mind as the town celebrates its 20th year in 2018. Aine Morris (Chief Executive) offers a teaser saying "we are plotting some exciting plans for the future of the event, many of which are top secret at this point!"
To keep up to date, head over to their website where a full programme and list of speakers, sponsors and food and drink stallholders can be found.

Abergavenny Food Festival
Dusty Knuckle Pizza

My top tips for Abergavenny Food Festival
  • Arrive early if you're driving as the car parks fill up fast, or look up staying overnight and making a weekend of it
  • Research the masterclasses, debates and tastings on the website and book in advance
  • Don't be impulsive - explore the range of food and drink stalls and purchase later
  • Be aware of timings as some areas finish earlier than others or temporarily close to set up for other events (like the Night Market)
  • Venture beyond the market and high street to the castle and gardens 
  • Learn and try something new
Disclosure: I was provided with tickets for the food festival and Elly's masterclass for the purpose of this article. All opinions are my own. 
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© Explore With Ed | Wales based Food, Travel and Cruise Blog

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