SUNDAY 5 DECEMBER – 10.00am to 5.00pm
What do you need to make your festivities perfect? Does your taste run to the rare and exotic, the innovative or the traditional? Be sure to come to the Abergavenny Food Festival’s spectacular Christmas Food and Drink Fair on Sunday 5 December (10.00am to 5.00pm). Fill up your cupboards, firm up your menus, liven up your culinary plans and have fun while you are doing it!
There’s so much on offer. From an unrivalled foodie shopping experience to inspirational masterclasses, tutored tastings and demonstrations, there really is something for everyone. And it’s very much a festive family event, with free entry to all children under 16 (if accompanied by an adult). Avoid the sad supermarket dash. Get ahead of the game in Abergavenny (psssst …strictly no novelty gifts).
Box Office is now live. Entry wristbands (to the main market venues) and tickets for Masterclasses and Tutored Tastings at other venues in town can be purchased online at www.abergavennyfoodfestival.com where you will find details of the whole programme. Entry wristbands only can also be purchased from The Borough Theatre on 01873 850805.
Your £3.50 entry wristband gives access to The Market Hall, Upper Brewery Yard and The Priory Centre, all situated in the centre of the town. There will be around sixty of the best local and regional speciality food producers featured, offering fresh and cured meats, poultry and game, cheeses and chocolates, cakes and desserts, wines and liqueurs, ales and ciders and more.
Your entry wristband also guarantees you an exciting line-up of dems in the Market Hall on the Robert Price Kitchen Stage including Stefan Gates, Food Adventurer and presenter of the hit children’s TV show Gastronuts (CBBC) who brings its weird and whacky flavour to the event. There’s poultry preparation with Caroline and Sandy Holt-Wilson, of Cefn Maen Farm – producers of organic bronze turkeys; and two local chefs, Steve Bennett of the two AA rosette Llansantffraed Court Hotel and Karl Cheetham of The Gliffaes, 2009 Welsh Country Hotel of the Year give their take on the festive season. Then to round the day off, there’s the The Caldicott and Abergavenny Youth Centres ‘Come-Dine with-Me’ grand finale.
There’s also a programme of special seasonal Masterclassses and Tutored Tastings sponsored by Fine and Country and Homes of Elegance. These are all individually ticketed. Here’s the Masterclass line-up: Stephen Terry chef-patron of The Hardwick, Abergavenny (Gastropub of the Year) and Great British Menu winner, offers fresh ideas on the question of Christmas pudding; Cass Titcombe, head chef and co-owner of the innovative and stylish Canteen restaurant chain uses great local ingredients to make stunning party food; and Anand George chef-proprietor of Cardiff’s Mint & Mustard and Chai St Restaurants goes back to his roots with a demonstration of the traditional Christmas fare of the ancient Syrian Christian community of Kerala.
Annie Rigg ‘Queen of Cakes’ and author of Gifts from the Kitchen shows wonderful alternatives to giving scent and socks – how about candied almonds or slow roast tomatoes? Then celebrity greengrocer Charlie Hicks and Freddy Bird of Bristol Lido uncover a world of seasonal fruit & veg beyond the Satsuma and brussel sprouts.
The line-up for Tutored Tastings includes entertaining wine expert Tom Harrow who presents a selection of fortified wines including port, sherry and Madeira, which should provide all the fortification you need this Christmas! Whether you’re mulling wine, making the pudding or dealing with left-over turkey, Arun Kapil of Green Saffron injects a world of spice into the whole experience.
Eric Charriaux and Amnon Paldi, The affineurs from Premier Cheese recommend some British and European favourites that will be in peak condition for your festive cheeseboard; and Beer-writer of The Year Pete Brown presents his selection of Festive Ales – for those who insist on eating, he suggests some perfect foods to complement them.
So that’s Christmas sorted then!
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