You’re already planning ahead for the perfect festive celebrations and looking forward to time out with friends and family. The third Abergavenny Food Festival Christmas Food and Drink Fair takes place on Sunday 9 December (10.00am – 5.00pm) Sponsored by Brewin Dolphin – one of the UK’s largest independent private client investment managers – it’s your chance to get everything sorted on the culinary front. Choose from an abundance of top-notch produce showcased across three main venues (Market Hall, Upper Brewery Yard and St Mary’s Priory Centre, plus Cross Street too).
YOUR STROLLER TICKET
With over ninety hand-picked exhibitors, the focus is firmly on Christmas food (no tinsel side-shows). Entry is via a stroller ticket – just £3.50 for adults, but entirely free for children if accompanied by an adult. Buy online at http://www.abergavennyfoodfestival.com and through the Borough Theatre (01873 850805) from 6 November.
But your stroller ticket doesn’t just buy access to the markets. There’s also a rolling programme of free seasonal chef dems in the Market Hall on the Robert Price Kitchen Stage featuring local talent alongside some festival regulars. These bite-size sessions (half-an-hour) giving you a chance to draw inspiration from culinary class acts.
Fancy dishing up pot-roasted pheasant for instance? Matt Tebbutt, chef-proprietor of The Foxhunterand presenter of Channel 4’s ‘Food Unwrapped’ shows you how.
Jane Baxter, founder of the award-winning Riverford Field Kitchen has a traditional fish recipe that’s perfect for feeding large numbers: salmon in pastry with currants and ginger – a smart solution for Boxing Day; and ‘WineChap’ Tom Harrow says be bold, and comes up with surprise wines to pair with festive food.
Michelin Star chef James Sommerin (Crown at Whitebrook) takes inspiration from abroad to conjure up ‘something completely different’; Simon King of 1861 deconstructs Christmas pudding; Iain Sampson (head chef, The Bear, Crickhowell) goes game with venison; and Roisin Ballinger (The Burren Bread Company) whips up a last minute Christmas Cake.
SPECIAL TUTORED TASTINGS
There’s also a complementary programme of special individually ticketed Tutored Tastings priced between £6.00 and £7.50. Take time out from shopping and join some very special culinary bright lights as they create fabulous festive treats for you to sample in a relaxed and intimate environment.
There’s just one event on the Saturday evening. Join Tom Harrow aka ‘WineChap’ and top affineur Eric Charriaux who’ll be pairing white wines with cheese in the Homes of Elegance fabulous showrooms in Mill Street.
On the Sunday The Angel Hotel will host four events in the stunning ballroom. First up: Paul Grimwood of Ultracomida and Spanish wine expert Jose Velo-Rego of C & D Wines for a sampling of the sherries and fortified wines of Jerez and Malaga alongside artisan foods imported from Spain.
Then Lindy Wildsmith of the Chef’s Room Cookery School, Blaenavon introduces simple and delicious treats that can be made in advance and served at the drop of a hat. Great for advance party planning.
Whisky evangelist Eddie Ludlow offers a unique opportunity to taste the Whisky Lounge’s current Single Cask Series – ‘a different flavour conundrum waiting to be unlocked’; and Master chocolatier Barry Colenso journeys from bean to bar through the art and science of chocolate making – including tempering and decoration.
Tempted to taste? Limited ticket availability for these special events. Remember, box office goes live on 6 November. More details and times online at http://www.abergavennyfoodfestival.com