22 August 2011

What makes a food festival? Mountains of cheese, chocolate and charcuterie,
an explosion of chilli, a long cool beer – it’s all about sensory
extremes and subtle contrasts. Hear passionate performers, soap-box rants
and electric debate at the 2011 Abergavenny Food Festival which takes place
over the weekend of Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September. A great UK day out
while you are in Wales.

Savour the delights of fishing at dawn or dancing at dusk (yes, there’s a
fantastic party at The Castle!). You can taste it, share it and bring it all
together in one big celebration on the Welsh borders. Box office goes live
on 15 July. View the full line-up at
Tickets for most events can also be purchased through The Borough Theatre,
Abergavenny: 01873 850805.
There’s so much on offer - from an unrivalled foodie shopping experience
to top-end masterclasses. And it’s very much a family event, with free
5-Venue stroller ticket entry to all children under 16 (if accompanied by an
adult). Now that’s something to celebrate! Buy stroller tickets online
before 1 September and pay last year’s prices. This year for the first
time all stroller-ticket holders will have the added benefit of a free
top-quality official programme, produced in association with Fork Magazine -
featuring site maps, exhibitor listings, and exclusive features on guest

The Abergavenny Food Festival’s charm lies in its special mix of markets
alongside individually ticketed masterclasses, tutored tastings and talks
– all showcasing some of the most skilled, passionate and knowledgeable
practitioners in the country. As part of this programme of events the
festival team is delighted to announce that Fergus Henderson (St John’s,
Smithfield) will be sharing top tips on hangover cures; Angela Hartnett
(Michelin-starred Murano) will be demonstrating dishes from her new book
Taste of Home; and classically French-trained Bryn Williams (Odettes of
Primrose Hill) will show how his unique style owes much to his Welsh

Then it’s over to TV chef Val Warner who’ll get great gutsy flavours
from game and fish; and Bill Granger will debunk the myth that cooking Asian
food is complicated! Oh, and you can join award-winning drinks writer
Richard Ehrlich when he presents the Perfect Martini in the relaxed
surroundings of Abergavenny’s Homes of Elegance showroom.

But this isn’t the whole story; see the full guest line-up with a choice
of over fifty events online. It’s a truly eclectic mix of Swedish,
Italian, British, Spanish, Asian, and French cuisine. And when you’ve
digested that, there’s still the Festival Fringe – another fifty events,
from films to festive menus – all showcasing the best the area has to
offer. Be assured of some warm Welsh hospitality.

For the avid shopper there will be around two hundred stalls across five
venues. On the Robert Price Kitchen stage in the delightful Victorian market
hall you’ll be able to catch a rolling programme of chef dems featuring
the region’s finest. In the grounds of the ancient castle, there’s a
Food Academy sponsored by Griffiths Civil Engineering and Construction with
hands-on children’s workshops, plus story-telling, comedy and live music.
There’s also a cheese & wine area, and a fish market at St Mary’s Priory

So a UK day out at the festival offers a whole variety of experiences –
the hectic bustle of the markets, the relaxed vibe of the Castle with its
family entertainment, a chance to get top tips from the best chefs in the
business, an opportunity to sit down, relax and eat some great food. And
perhaps most importantly it’s an open invitation to enjoy the special
conviviality of the whole Abergavenny experience, be it with friends, family
or strangers.

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