Corpulent Capers http://www.corpulentcapers.com Restaurants, reviews, recipes, recommendations & all things food related Thu, 02 Jun 2016 15:35:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Reaching Out for New Stars, the Guild of Fine Food Launches Great Taste Portugal http://www.corpulentcapers.com/reaching-new-stars-guild-fine-food-launches-great-taste-portugal/ http://www.corpulentcapers.com/reaching-new-stars-guild-fine-food-launches-great-taste-portugal/#respond Thu, 02 Jun 2016 08:21:37 +0000 http://www.corpulentcapers.com/?p=2141 Press Release Having judged more than 100,000 entries from across the globe in the UK and Ireland over the past 22 years, Great Taste is now set to head overseas for the first time, launching Great Taste Portugal in association with ConsumerChoice – Centro de Avaliação da Satisfação do Consumidor, an organisation that champions Portuguese brands delivering exceptional quality to [&hellip

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Press Release

Having judged more than 100,000 entries from across the globe in the UK and Ireland over the past 22 years, Great Taste is now set to head overseas for the first time, launching Great Taste Portugal in association with ConsumerChoice – Centro de Avaliação da Satisfação do Consumidor, an organisation that champions Portuguese brands delivering exceptional quality to their customers.

With entry now open until the end of June, preparations are well underway for the many weeks of judging ahead. Top chefs, buyers, fine food retailers, restaurateurs, food critics and writers are being assembled to taste each and every entry, before the coveted Great Taste stars are awarded in October and the Supreme Champion is unveiled at the Festival Nacional de Gastronomia de Santarém later that month.

Valuing taste above all else, with no consideration for branding or packaging, the judges will be searching for the very finest food and drink in Portugal, using the same rigorous blind-tasting process and robust judging methods that have been honed by the Guild of Fine Food in the UK over the past two decades.

The winners will earn the right to display the unmistakable gold and black Great Taste logo on their products, helping them to increase sales and improve brand awareness, while all entries will benefit from comments given by the expert panel of judges, providing highly valuable feedback for market research and product refinement purposes. Those products deemed worthy of a 2- or 3-star accolade will also be listed on greattasteawards.co.uk.

John Farrand, Managing Director of the Guild of Fine Food, organisers of Great Taste, explains; “The Great Taste logo is an established seal of approval, reflecting the hard work and commitment of producers who are making outstanding food and drink, so we’re very excited about extending its reach to the Portuguese marketplace in 2016. We’ve been delighted to see more and more international entries coming into Great Taste each year and feel that Great Taste Portugal will give the country’s small artisan producers an even better opportunity to gain recognition for their efforts, raise their profile and jump off the nation’s crowded shelves, as we direct Portugal’s buyers towards the best of the bunch. With so many Portuguese products already awarded Great Taste stars in previous years, we know we’ll be in for a treat when the judging takes place on home soil.”

José Borralho, Managing Director of ConsumerChoice Ltd, creators of the Consumer Choice Awards, adds; “This is an important moment for Portuguese food and drink producers, especially small artisans and those who are looking to export. The Great Taste stamp of excellence is highly sought after throughout Europe and beyond, with buyers and retailers on the lookout for exceptional products using the list of stars as their guide. Great Taste Portugal will offer our artisan producers a unique opportunity to grow their businesses and reach new markets.”

The judging process will take place throughout September and October, with the award-winning products due to be announced on Tuesday 18 October.

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Our 6 favourite places to eat in 2015 and what 2016 might bring. http://www.corpulentcapers.com/our-favourite-places-to-eat-in-2015-and-what-2016-might-bring/ http://www.corpulentcapers.com/our-favourite-places-to-eat-in-2015-and-what-2016-might-bring/#respond Fri, 01 Jan 2016 16:28:56 +0000 http://www.corpulentcapers.com/?p=2118 Happy New Year As we caper merrily into 2016 it seems obligatory to write a short retrospective on the year we leave behind.  2015 was a year which saw reduced input into Corpulent Capers for a number of different reasons. The year started with Babette appearing on Radio Wales on the Jamie Owen Show, continued with her cooking live on [&hellip

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Happy New Year

As we caper merrily into 2016 it seems obligatory to write a short retrospective on the year we leave behind.  2015 was a year which saw reduced input into Corpulent Capers for a number of different reasons.

The year started with Babette appearing on Radio Wales on the Jamie Owen Show, continued with her cooking live on ITV’s Mel & Sue show and culminated in her explaining to Sir Terry Wogan and Mason McQueen why Abergavenny was a such a great stopping point for their Great Food Trip.

Corpulent Capers: Babette cooking Gumbo live on ITV's Mel & Sue Show

Babette cooking Gumbo live on ITV’s Mel & Sue Show

Other things took our attention including the formation of the first Slow Food group in South East Wales which had its official launch in early June at St Fagans National History Museum.  That, in turn, led to Babette and I being appointed to the board of Slow Food Cymru Wales.

Corpulent Capers: Slow Food South East Wales Committee and Jane Hutt AM

Slow Food South East Wales Committee and Jane Hutt AM

Then Babette was away in the States for 3 months which took care of the rest of June, July and August. I also attended far less openings in 2015 than in previous years as I became somewhat bored by the endless stream of burger joints that are opening in the capital.

The upshot of all this was that we ate at far fewer places than we normally would, and far less time to write about those we did.

As is general at this time of year I’ve taken the opportunity to evaluate the recent past and to think about what 2016 means for Corpulent Capers.

First off we’ll be changing our look sometime this quarter. I’ve been toying with this for a while but I’ve finally found a look I like and so I’m working on converting things in the background.  The new site will look much better on mobile devices and the advertising will either disappear completely or be much less intrusive.

Content wise there will be much less emphasis on reviews and much more on food, food policy, food producers and the like. Of course we’ll still bring you news about the best places to eat as and when we find them.

We hope you like the changes as we phase them in and look forward to your feedback.

Of course we can’t let 2015 end without a roundup.  So here are my top picks of places that I did manage to visit last year.

Fine (but not stuffy) Dining

Restaurant James Sommerin

Without a doubt the highlight of our food year was the meal we had to celebrate our 10th Wedding Anniversary at Restaurant James Sommerin in Penarth. We opted for the 10 course (1 per year) chef’s blind tasting menu.

It was a true delight as James took us through culinary journey that wowed and amazed us.  Truly cooking of the highest level. I’m not the only one to notice as apart from their great reviews they also won 3 AA Rosettes this year too.

Look out for some exciting new menu concepts in 2016 as well including a great value fixed price Market Menu (2 courses and a Bellini for under £30).

Corpulent Capers: Some dishes from our Tasting Menu at Restaurant JS.

Some dishes from our Tasting Menu at Restaurant JS.

The Walnut Tree

I don’t mind admitting I’m a bit of a fanboy when it comes to Chef Shaun Hill. He’s a great raconteur as well as a great chef and his, simply presented, food is always packed with flavour. Not only seasonal and local he also presents dishes you are unlikely to find in other restaurants.  Where else would you find ‘Woodcock Rossini’ on the menu? The woodcock was ‘shot by my neighbour’ he said.

There’s a fixed price set lunch menu offering 2 (£25) or 3 (£30) courses on offer too.

Corpulent Capers: Lunch at the Walnut Tree Inn

Lunch at the Walnut Tree Inn

Coast

Will Holland, another ex-Ludlowite like Shaun Hill, opened Coast in Saundersfoot in 2014. We visited in April 2015 and found the food as good as the location and the views. As you can imagine from the name and the beach side location the menu is mainly fish based, with a gentle nod to the vegetarians and the carnivores. Fortunately Will knows how to cook a piece of fish so if you’re in the area a visit is highly recommended.

Corpulent Capers: Dinner At Coast

Dinner At Coast

‘Casual’ Dining

The Felin Fach Griffin

What more can I tell you than I probably ate here more than anywhere else in 2015.  Under the watchful eye of the awesome GM Julie Bell the Griffin is comfortable and relaxed, cosy with its open fire, they are even dog friendly. More than all that though it serves great food and has a wine list well worth exploring. Surely, they must be running out of wall space to hang all their awards on by now.

Corpulent Capers: Belly Pork still remembered from September!

Belly Pork still remembered from September!

The Gallery

Welsh Sustainable Restaurant of the Year, Good Food Guide Readers Restaurant of the Year, the Gallery goes from strength to strength. With a menu that changes monthly, owner Barnaby Hibbert ensures that the Gallery offers outstanding value for money. And it’s in staggering distance of Barry Station as well, so there’s no excuse for you Cardiffians not to go pay them a visit.

Corpulent Capers: The Gallery, Barry

The Gallery, Barry

Bar 44

What can I say about the guys at Bar 44.  When I first discovered them they had one restaurant in Cowbridge and I was completely bowled over by their commitment to sourcing and serving the best of Spain.  Now they have 3 outlets (Penarth and Westgate St, Cardiff) and have managed that difficult task of remaining true to their roots and ethos whilst expanding.

Corpulent Capers: Tapas at Bar 44, Cardiff

Tapas at Bar 44, Cardiff

 

And to you, dear reader, thanks for all your support in 2015. We love to get your feedback so don’t be shy in 2016. Get involved, comment on our posts, tell us what you like and don’t like, tell us what you think about the Welsh food and drink scene.

Happy New Year and may 2016 bring you all that you might wish for.

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Lamb Cutlets, Burgers and Sausages from Bodnant Welsh Food http://www.corpulentcapers.com/lamb-cutlets-burgers-and-sausages-from-bodnant-welsh-food/ http://www.corpulentcapers.com/lamb-cutlets-burgers-and-sausages-from-bodnant-welsh-food/#respond Mon, 16 Nov 2015 18:30:34 +0000 http://www.corpulentcapers.com/?p=2106 I have a file of places that are food related that I would like to visit. There’s the famous La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, Ver-o-peso Market in Brazil which showcases the foods found in the Amazon, Castries Market in St Lucia, known for its spices, and the Mercado Central in Santiago Chile. Closer to home is Bodnant Welsh Food Centre [&hellip

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I have a file of places that are food related that I would like to visit. There’s the famous La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, Ver-o-peso Market in Brazil which showcases the foods found in the Amazon, Castries Market in St Lucia, known for its spices, and the Mercado Central in Santiago Chile. Closer to home is Bodnant Welsh Food Centre in Conwy. The centre is overlooking the River Conwy with a B&B in a restored 18th century farmhouse.

Bodnant has a butchery which carries an award winning range of meats, many of them sourced from neighbouring farms and the locality. They stock Welsh Black Beef dry-aged on the bone for 28 days for the best flavour, salt marsh lamb, rare breed pork, game and more. They make all of their burgers and sausages on site.

Since I have yet to visit Bodnant, they kindly sent us 3 of their butchery products to sample and review: Aberwen Melts, Salt Marsh Lamb Cutlets, and Beef, Horseradish and Wild Mushroom Sausages.

Corpulent Capers: Bodnant Aberwen Melt

Aberwen Melt

Aberwen Melts are burgers made from Welsh Black beef, minced in their butchery, with an Aberwen cheese centre. This cheese was awarded a bronze in the World Cheese awards in 2014 and is made in their state of the art dairy.

This was a very tasty burger. The meat was well seasoned, the cheese nicely melted in the middle of the burger and only oozed out when the burger was cut. This is a tasty 8 ounce burger with only herbs and spices added to the beef.

We also sampled the Beef Horseradish and Wild Mushroom Sausages. Again, because of the quality of the meat, the sausages were very tasty. I however could not taste the horseradish.

Corpulent Capers: Bodnant Salt Marsh Lamb Cutlet

Salt Marsh Lamb Cutlet

Finally, we sampled the salt marsh lamb cutlets. This was some of the best lamb that I have tasted. This delectable flavour is due to the lambs being able to graze freely on the salt marshes of Porthmadog which contain an abundance of samphire, sorrel, sea lavender and other natural herbs. Lambs that graze on salt marshes produce a quality meat that has a flavour, colour and texture that is like no other.

I am still hoping to visit Bodnant next year. But whilst I am waiting for that opportune time to visit, I know that I can buy some of their award winning food and drink products through their on line shop.

Bodnant Welsh Food Centre
Furnace Farm
Tal-y-cafn
Conwy
LL28 5RP

Tel: 01492 651931
Email: retail@bodnant-welshfood.co.uk

 

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James Sommerin: Seasonal Root Vegetables and my Pumpkin Crumble http://www.corpulentcapers.com/james-sommerin-seasonal-root-vegetables-and-my-pumpkin-crumble/ http://www.corpulentcapers.com/james-sommerin-seasonal-root-vegetables-and-my-pumpkin-crumble/#respond Fri, 30 Oct 2015 14:19:43 +0000 http://www.corpulentcapers.com/?p=2096 In the first of a series of guest posts, award-winning chef James Sommerin gives us some Autumnal ideas for root vegetables and provides a great recipe for all the pumpkins that are available this time of year. As the chill starts to creep into the air and the leaves turn a burnished orange my thoughts always turn to warmth – [&hellip

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In the first of a series of guest posts, award-winning chef James Sommerin gives us some Autumnal ideas for root vegetables and provides a great recipe for all the pumpkins that are available this time of year.

As the chill starts to creep into the air and the leaves turn a burnished orange my thoughts always turn to warmth – the glow of fires, hearty stews and cosy evenings in.

There’s no better food type to embody this than the root vegetable but sometimes people are stumped about what to do with them and quite frankly put off by their appearance.

Over the years we’ve become a bit more accustomed to seeing sweet potatoes, celeriac and even yams alongside turnips, carrots and swede on our supermarket shelves, but I find all too often people might like the idea of them but simply don’t know where to begin.

Raw Sweet Potato and Squash

Raw Sweet Potato and Squash

A good starting point might be a simple creamed root soup, roasted vegetables to accompany roast lamb or a traditional cawl with parsnips and swede.

Here at Restaurant James Sommerin we’re serving beetroot alongside Pant-ysgawn goat’s cheese which is not an automatic but works fantastically. Another pairing which is going down well is our vegetable salad with hazelnuts, which adds some depth and seasonality lighter summer salads.

Roots work brilliantly with an array of other ingredients and seasonings. Try adding coconut milk to soup or coating parsnips in honey or maple syrup mixed with orange or cinnamon, perhaps sprinkled with pecans.

A balsamic vinegar or syrup can really liven up a warm root vegetable salad, especially beetroot.

And now for one of the highlights of fresh produce this season, but not only is it not a root vegetable, you may be surprised to know that the piles of pumpkins you’ve been unable to ignore for the past few weeks are not vegetables at all but actually piles of fruit!

But while we’re used to their yearly fleeting appearance the proportion of the them that are used solely as lanterns, with the sweet flesh discarded is likely to be huge and a real shame.

So if an American style pumpkin pie isn’t quite your thing …..

Why not try my Pumpkin Crumble?

Pumpkin Crumble
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 300g pumpkin
  • 50g butter
  • ½ chilli
  • 100g milk
  • 50g cream
  • 100g pumpkin (diced )
  • 100g parmesan
  • Breadcrumbs or pine nuts to top (optional)
Instructions
  1. Remove the flesh and seeds from the pumpkin. Roast in tin foil with a little olive oil for 30 minutes at 180ºc or until the pumpkin becomes soft.
  2. Once the pumpkin is roasted place into a pan with the chilli, butter and add the milk. Bring to the boil, extract part of the liquid and blend with a hand blender until smooth. Pass through a sieve to create a purée.
  3. With the 100g of diced pumpkin, blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute then roast in a pan to add the flavour, maybe add a slice of garlic or rosemary.
  4. Add the roasted diced pumpkin to the the pumpkin purée. Add the 50g of fresh parmesan and stir to a thick paste.
  5. Transfer the pumpkin mixture to an oven-proof dish, top with extra grated parmesan, and, for an extra additional flavour add some toasted pine-nuts or breadcrumbs. Cover with either tin foil or a lid and bake in the oven for 7-10 minutes at 180ºc. This will help to toast the top of the crumble. Remove the tin foil and bake for 1-2 minutes just to finish the top completely. Serve with fresh bread.

Restaurant James Sommerin
The Esplanade
Penarth
CF64 3AU
Tel: 029 2070 6559
Web: www.jamessommerinrestaurant.co.uk

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New Website Porc.Wales Will Promote Welsh Pork http://www.corpulentcapers.com/new-website-porc-wales-will-promote-welsh-pork/ http://www.corpulentcapers.com/new-website-porc-wales-will-promote-welsh-pork/#respond Sun, 11 Oct 2015 16:59:46 +0000 http://www.corpulentcapers.com/?p=2081 Shoppers looking for quality, local pork can now find it through a new website. Porc.Wales will tell the story of the Welsh pork industry and what makes the pork it produces so special. Welsh consumers will be encouraged to eat more high quality, locally produced pork products as well as helping them to find a supplier to support local farmers [&hellip

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pigShoppers looking for quality, local pork can now find it through a new website.

Porc.Wales will tell the story of the Welsh pork industry and what makes the pork it produces so special. Welsh consumers will be encouraged to eat more high quality, locally produced pork products as well as helping them to find a supplier to support local farmers and producers and cook up a storm in the kitchen with a range of new recipes.

Porc.Wales, created by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), showcases the finest pig farmers and premier porcine producers from around the country and includes a directory of regional stockists to link consumers directly with pork producers and butchers – enabling them to source pork produce locally. With a growing innovative pork industry, the Porc.Wales website includes interviews with farmers, butchers and chefs who describe why pork produced in Wales is so unique.

Other highlights of the new website include recipes and features which explore how to use different cuts of pork.

Melanie Hughes, HCC Market Development Officer said: “Wales is well known for producing top quality Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef but this shouldn’t overshadow the nation’s pork offering. The profile of the Welsh pork industry is growing and it has a fantastic story to tell which we can all be very proud of.

“We believe that the pork that is produced in Wales stands out for many reasons; the climate and the landscape, not to mention the expertise and knowledge of the pig farmers which has been handed down through the ages. The sector is also innovative and has a new generation of passionate artisan producers who make award-winning products.

“This new website will inform foodies about the wonderful producers and the products we have in this sector of the meat industry in Wales, and will encourage consumers to buy good quality, locally produced pork. We’re confident that once they’ve tried it, they’ll be discerning about any future purchases.”

Welsh Pork: Oxford Sandy and Black Pigs

Oxford Sandy and Black Pigs

We were asked by Porc Wales to create 2 recipes featuring Welsh Pork. The breed of pork was Oxford Sandy and Black (OSB) and was supplied by Mary Benfield, Teyrdan Hall Farm, Llanelian, Colwyn Bay via Bodnant Welsh Food Centre. The OSB is one of the oldest British pig breeds, having existed for around 200 – 300 years. It is believed to have developed in Oxfordshire. Oxford Sandy and Black are a rare breed pig. They are in the Slow Food Ark of Taste as their numbers are still low. Extinction was a real possibility in the 1980’s but thankfully there are more farmers breeding this pig across the UK.

They are slow growing breed but time does equal flavour! Although flavoursome, OSB is a tender and delicate tasting pork and it makes excellent bacon and ham.

I was inspired by my Bahamian heritage and created a Bahamian recipe using the tenderloin of pork. You should be able to get a copy of the recipe here very soon.

For my second recipe, I was inspired by the fact that this is a rare and old breed pork and I wanted to make a dish using another ingredient that is not as popular today as it was a few hundred years ago: the quince. Quince belongs in the same family as apples and pears and so is a fabulous pairing with pork. I bought the quinces for this recipe at The Riverside Farmers market in Cardiff. I do know I am giving a recipe with an ingredient that is not as easy to find but I am on a little crusade to reintroduce to our plates ingredients that used to be very popular in the UK. If we don’t start using again these traditional ingredients, they will become lost to us.

Rolled Pork Shoulder with Quince
 
A succulent pork recipe using quince instead of apples,
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: British
Ingredients
  • 2 pound pork shoulder boned and rolled with skin scored for the crackling
For the rub
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Fresh rosemary leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried
For the Vegetable Ragu
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 1 large red onion chopped
  • 3 small parsnips chopped
  • 3 large quinces peeled and cored with each cut into 8 wedges (see tips)
  • 5 large garlic cloves peeled and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon of honey, rowan jelly or red current jelly
  • 1 cup of water (you may need to top up during cooking) (you can use white wine, cider, or chicken stock)
  • Fresh rosemary (2 sprigs)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Juice of half of a lemon
Equipment
  • A deep roasting pan large enough to take the pork, but small enough that the vegetables form a thick layer on the bottom or they will burn,
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 220ºc (200ºc fan) / 425ºf / Gas Mark 7
  2. Mix the ingredients together for the spice rub.
  3. Spread mixture all over the shoulder including the skin. Set aside.
  4. Add the chopped vegetables (excluding quince) to the roasting pan.
  5. Add the liquid, herbs, honey/jelly and stir.
  6. Put the quinces on top ensuring the bottoms are in the liquid.
  7. Place the pork on top.
  8. To get a good crackling, rub the skin with some sea salt and place on top of the veg in the roasting pan.
  9. Place in the hot oven for 30 minutes. This initial high heat and salt on the skin will give you nice crisp crackling.
  10. After 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 190ºc (185ºc fan assisted) / 375ºf / Gas Mark 5.
  11. Check the liquid in the pot and top up if it has evaporated.
  12. Cook the roast for 35 minutes per pound
Notes
There are a few ways to tell if the meat is cooked:

• Insert a skewer in the thickest part and the juices that run out should be absolutely clear without any trace of pinkness.
• Use an instant read meat thermometer. Take the temperature at the thickest part of the roast. When temperature is 62ºC the meat is cooked.

When the pork is cooked, remove from the pot and allow to rest. The vegetables and quince should be nice and tender and the liquid reduced to a nice gravy. Stir in the juice of the half lemon.

To serve

Slice the pork and serve with the vegetables and quinces. Steamed broccoli or cabbage would be a good side dish.

Pork Shoulder with Quince

Tips: Quinces are very hard when raw and can be tricky to cut and core. I freeze the quinces which makes it easier to peel, cut and core. The freezing does not change the taste and will have the same texture after braised.

If you’d like to learn more about Welsh Pork, ‘nose to tail eating’, the importance of ingredients and even gain some basic butchery skills then pop over to Food Adventure and check out our Learn How to Make Pâté, Faggots and Black Pudding course led by Illtud Llyr Dunsford, founder of the award winning Charcutier Ltd.

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Full line up for Abergavenny Food Festival 2015 announced http://www.corpulentcapers.com/full-line-up-for-abergavenny-food-festival-2015-announced/ http://www.corpulentcapers.com/full-line-up-for-abergavenny-food-festival-2015-announced/#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2015 23:02:06 +0000 http://www.corpulentcapers.com/?p=2064 Tickets go on sale today as Abergavenny Food Festival announces the full line up for 2015. September 18, 19, 20 will once again welcome thousands of visitors to Abergavenny to sample the best food and drink the UK has to offer. Tom Kerridge, the Hemsley sisters and Olia Hercules, will be joined by over fifty foodies who will share their [&hellip

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Tickets go on sale today as Abergavenny Food Festival announces the full line up for 2015. September 18, 19, 20 will once again welcome thousands of visitors to Abergavenny to sample the best food and drink the UK has to offer.

Tom Kerridge, the Hemsley sisters and Olia Hercules, will be joined by over fifty foodies who will share their culinary passion and expertise, demonstrating everything from baking to foraging, tea tasting to cooking up cultural delicacies.

Abergavenny Food Festival: Raymond Blanc

Raymond Blanc – President SRA

Raymond Blanc OBE will be appearing in his capacity as President of the Sustainable Restaurant Association. In conversation with Sheila Dillon from BBC Radio 4’s Food and Farming programme, Raymond will explore the roots of his passion for produce, dread of waste and respect for the land. He will reveal how early lessons learned from Maman Blanc have guided him throughout his career as chef and restaurateur – and how only by understanding that food connects with every part of our lives, can we truly secure a future for our food.

Be amongst the first to get your hands on the much-lauded new book by celebrated chef and author, Yotam Ottolenghi. NOPI: The Cookbook. Yotam, alongside his head chef, Ramael Scully, will bring the inventive NOPI ethos to the festival, pushing culinary boundaries.

The Festival line up also boasts Bake-Off champion Frances Quinn guiding you through her unique style of baking; exciting new London trio, The Groundnut Boys demonstrating recipes from their African Heritage with a contemporary twist and Festival favourite Cyrus Todiwala OBE who has been changing perceptions of Indian cuisine since his arrival in the UK from Goa in 1991.

Abergavenny Food Festival: The Groundnut Boys

The Groundnut Boys

Alongside household names are some demonstrations with a difference; Jon Old from the Wasabi Company will talk visitors through how, from a secret location in the UK, they grow one of the world’s most expensive crops and Mitch Tonks, renowned for his radical career change from accountancy to fishmongering, will be demonstrating recipes from his book The Seahorse, inspired by Italy and the South West of England.

In addition to food, the festival boasts a number of cocktail, foraging and alcohol master classes.  James Chase from Chase Distillery will expertly guide you through spirits, wines and ciders, while author and forager by day, Andy Hamilton presents ‘Wild Booze and Hedgerow Cocktails’ showing you how you can make delicious cocktails from a hedgerow near you.

Heather Myers, Chief Executive of the Festival said: “This year’s line-up is our biggest and best to date and definitely the most varied.”

“Whether you want to come along and explore the market, sample produce from over 220 hand-picked stallholders, or watch demonstrations from some of the finest chefs and food adventurers today, there really is something for everyone.”

It’s not just Festival goers who benefit from the biggest food Festival in Wales. It is estimated that the Festival brings £4million to the local Welsh economy, with the majority of 30,000 visitors spending between £50 and £100. Each year the Festival raises over £9,000 to local community groups, supports around thirty fringe events across Monmouthshire and employs an extra 120 young people over the festival weekend.

Abergavenny Food Festival: Sam and Shauna, Hang Fire Smokehouse

Sam and Shauna, Hang Fire Smokehouse selecting their free range pigs for the Festival – Pic (c) Huw John, Cardiff

Local success story Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn from Hang Fire Smokehouse came to the Festival last year as stallholders and return this year on the bill, since winning BBC Radio 4’s Food and Farming award for Best Street Food 2015.

Sam said: “It’s incredible that just one year on from our first appearance at Abergavenny Food Festival, and just two years since starting this business, we will be standing where our inspirations from the food industry have stood. We’re looking forward to both feeding the Festival goers our brand of Welsh slow and low BBQ and being a part of the Festival over the weekend.”

Shauna added: “This Festival is the highlight of the foodie event calendar and we’re delighted to be included in all aspects of the programme, for the first time, as we share the alchemy of meat smoking.”

Abergavenny Food Festival: Night market in Brewery Yard

Night Market in Brewery Yard – Image Tim Woodier

Alongside the bursting programme, Festival favourites return including the Night Market, transforming the Lower Brewery Yard into a magical place to eat, drink and hangout. New for 2015, the Festival will introduce the Meat Market, where you’ll find a selection of the best meats and butcher demonstrations Wales has to offer. The new Craft Brewery will create a relaxing area to sample some of Wales’ best-loved craft brews and ciders.

With parties on both the Friday (Swing Time at the Castle) and Saturday (Party at the Castle) evenings, visitors can experience music, dancing and food in the enchanted atmosphere of Abergavenny’s ancient castle.

Roll up your sleeves and book a place at The Artisan Kitchen School which gives you a unique opportunity to receive expert tuition first hand, taking your creations home with you. Children can show off their culinary talents at the Food Academy with a weekend of free hands on workshops for over 320 children and activities to tempt the most budding mini-master chef.

Abergavenny Food Festival: Val Warner at Food Academy 2013

Val Warner at Food Academy 2013 – Image Tim Woodier

Fast becoming an institution of the Festival, Rude Health Rants are back for their seventh year in a row. The team, led by co-founder and chief ranter Nick, are a proudly outspoken gang who aren’t afraid of standing up for real, honest food. Throughout the weekend Festival-goers will be given the chance to join them in their mission to eat right, and stay brilliant by speaking up.

The 2015 Festival is supported by a number of high profile businesses from across Wales and the UK including Cardiff Airport, Alun Griffiths Contractors Ltd and Chase Distillery, as well as support from Welsh Government, Monmouthshire Council and Abergavenny Town Council.

Tickets available now at abergavennyfoodfestival.com

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Pop Up 4 Lunch! New Street Food Menu at Purple Poppadom http://www.corpulentcapers.com/pop-up-4-lunch-new-street-food-menu-at-purple-poppadom/ http://www.corpulentcapers.com/pop-up-4-lunch-new-street-food-menu-at-purple-poppadom/#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2015 18:39:51 +0000 http://www.corpulentcapers.com/?p=2054 If you love street food, you must head over to Purple Poppadom for their new Street Food Pop Up 4 Lunch Menu. Chef Anand George and his team has have explored India’s exciting urban food scene to bring you authentic dishes inspired by the very latest in Indian street food. We have always loved the food at Purple Poppadom. Chef [&hellip

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If you love street food, you must head over to Purple Poppadom for their new Street Food Pop Up 4 Lunch Menu. Chef Anand George and his team has have explored India’s exciting urban food scene to bring you authentic dishes inspired by the very latest in Indian street food.

We have always loved the food at Purple Poppadom. Chef Anand is one of the most exciting chefs in Wales creating vibrant, visually beautiful, and delicious food. We were delighted to be invited to Purple Poppadom to sample his new menu.

If you want to have a quick “sandwich”, you must try a Bombay Frankie Roll (£4.95) a popular Mumbai street food. Their authentic Frankie Roll is made from their homemade wholemeal flat bread and then coated with egg omelette. You have a choice of fillings: Keralan Beef, Tandoori Chicken Tikka and Tandoori Paneer Tikka. This is then topped with green chutney, pickled cucumber.

Corpulent Capers: 12hr Keralan Beef Frankie Roll

12hr Keralan Beef Frankie Roll

We sampled the Keralan beef and Paneer which were both delicious. The beef was melt in the mouth amazing as it was marinated for over 12 hours and then slow cooked for over 12 hours. This may be fast street food but a lot of time and love went into this beef. The paneer was light and flavourful, even Mr A who is not a fan of paneer really enjoyed it.

Corpulent Capers: Paneer Frankie Roll

Paneer Frankie Roll

The menu also has a selection of Thali Platters (£7.95 – £8.95). These come with a snack starter, rice, homemade flatbread, and then a little bowl of a vegetable dish and a “curry”. There is a choice of prawn, chicken, lamb, or vegetable.

Corpulent Capers: Thali Platter

Thali Platter

Also on the menu are a variety of street food snacks. These are light bites. 2 to 3 would be a light lunch or if you are hungry, have one of these before your Frankie Roll. We tried the Venison Pao which was minced venison cooked with spices, topped with a fried egg and served on a homemade soft roll (pao). The Pao Bhaji was a flavourful potato and vegetable mash served with a zingy relish on a pao.  We also sampled the Kerala Calamari, crispy spice batters squid served on a refreshing nest of tangy salad.

Corpulent Capers: Venison Pao

Venison Pao

Corpulent Capers: Pao Bhaji

Pao Bhaji

Corpulent Capers: Kerala Calamari

Kerala Calamari

You simply cannot go wrong with anything that is on this Street Food Pop Up 4 lunch menu or any of the evening menus. Purple Poppadom is a multi-award winning restaurant serving vibrant and exciting traditional Indian cuisine with a modern twist. We have always had a delicious meal with friendly and professional service. 10 out 10 from me.

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New Slow Food® group launches – Slow Food South East Wales / y De-ddwyrain. http://www.corpulentcapers.com/new-slow-food-group-launches-slow-food-south-east-wales-y-de-ddwyrain/ http://www.corpulentcapers.com/new-slow-food-group-launches-slow-food-south-east-wales-y-de-ddwyrain/#respond Mon, 30 Mar 2015 20:07:20 +0000 http://www.corpulentcapers.com/?p=2040 A new Slow Food UK group has started in Wales: Slow Food South East Wales / y De-ddwyrain. This is the fifth group to open in Wales, with the others being in Llangollen, Dyfi Valley, Carmarthenshire and Anglesey (Dros-y-Fenai). People in South East Wales will now have an opportunity to participate in a wide range of Slow Food activities, such [&hellip

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A new Slow Food UK group has started in Wales: Slow Food South East Wales / y De-ddwyrain. This is the fifth group to open in Wales, with the others being in Llangollen, Dyfi Valley, Carmarthenshire and Anglesey (Dros-y-Fenai). People in South East Wales will now have an opportunity to participate in a wide range of Slow Food activities, such as meetings with guest speakers, campaigns on specific issues, awareness-raising programmes, and diverse events.

Slow Food is about helping people think differently about food. In the UK, Slow Food works to reconnect people with where their food comes from, so they can better understand the implications of the choices they make about what they put on their plates. The aim is to encourage people to choose nutritious food from sustainable and local sources, which tastes great.. Slow Food is a non-profit organization, supported by members and donations.

Mark Adams, Group Leader of Slow Food South East Wales said: “I am very happy that we have been able to form a Slow Food group in the area. These days the food market is dominated by multi-national corporations offering highly processed, multi-ingredient products as opposed to simple wholesome food. Add to this the lack of food education and we are seeing the loss of traditional cooking skills along with some of our unique native breeds.”

He adds: “Our aim in forming the group is to help people understand the impact that their choices in food can have on them, their families and the environment. We want to promote the importance of ‘local’ and help protect our culinary traditions and regional food products. Ultimately we want everyone to have access to good, clean and fair food.”

Carol Adams, founding member and Secretary of the group says: “We are a young group but have a strong committee comprising of local food and drink producers, business owners, chefs and those with an interest in good food. We are actively seeking new members to help us achieve our goals.”

 “We have a strong focus on food education to help individuals and communities make informed choices about their food and its production,” she explains. “Our aim is to help preserve forgotten Welsh foods and cooking traditions, alongside supporting artisan producers and farmers of sustainable and biodiverse food, which in turn helps protect the land for future generations. Our locality has an abundance of great producers and produce, and we shall be hosting a number of activities and events throughout the region.”

The newly formed Slow Food South East Wales committee members are as follows:

Mark Adams (Group Leader/Chair), Barnaby Hibbert (Vice Chair), Rolant Tomos (Treasurer), Carol Adams (Secretary), Grady Atkins, John Thomas, Melissa Boothman, Richard Crowe, Rob Lilford, Stephen Nottingham.

For more information about the group email: info@slowfoodsoutheastwales.org.uk

http://www.slowfood.org.uk/groups/south-east-wales/

http://www.slowfoodsoutheastwales.org.uk/

Follow us on Twitter – @SlowFoodSEWales  or Facebook – SlowFoodSEWales

Corpulent Capers: Slow Food South East Wales Committee

Slow Food South East Wales Committee

Back row from left to right: Grady Atkins, Rob Lilford, Melissa Boothman, Stephen Nottingham, Richard Crowe, Carol Adams, Rolant Tomos, and John Thomas

Front  Row: Mark Adams and Barnaby Hibbert

About Slow Food: Slow Food was founded in 1989 by Carlo Petrini as a response to the opening of a McDonald’s in the Piazza di Spagna in Rome. Today the movement exists in 132 countries and has over 100,000 members and supporters. Slow Food UK has 4,500 members and oversees a number of programmes, such as the UK’s contribution to the Ark of Taste and the Slow Food UK Chef Alliance.

Slow Food South East Wales/y De-ddwyrain covers an area roughly from Bridgend to the English border, sweeping up through Merthyr Tydfil and the Valleys to Monmouthshire.

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Fairtrade Fortnight Liberation Nuts Giveaway http://www.corpulentcapers.com/fairtrade-fortnight-liberation-nuts-giveaway/ http://www.corpulentcapers.com/fairtrade-fortnight-liberation-nuts-giveaway/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 08:01:26 +0000 http://www.corpulentcapers.com/?p=2028 This year Fairtrade Fortnight runs from the 23rd February to the 8th March 2015 and we are celebrating the impact of Fairtrade by turning the spotlight on the producers who grow the products we love. Take for example, farmer-owned Fair Trade nut company, Liberation Foods who source all their nuts from co-operatives of small-scale growers and farmers who own a [&hellip

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Corpulent Capers:Fairtrade FortnightThis year Fairtrade Fortnight runs from the 23rd February to the 8th March 2015 and we are celebrating the impact of Fairtrade by turning the spotlight on the producers who grow the products we love.

Take for example, farmer-owned Fair Trade nut company, Liberation Foods who source all their nuts from co-operatives of small-scale growers and farmers who own a 44% share of the company. With peanuts coming from Nicaragua and Malawi and cashews all the way from India, Liberation is passionately nuts about Fairtrade, the livelihoods of its farmers and providing the best tasting product.

To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight we have teamed up with Liberation Foods to offer 5 readers the chance to each win 3 bags of nutterly delicious Fairtrade nuts from the range below:

Corpulent Capers: Liberation Nuts ChilliOven Baked Chilli& Lime Cashews with Peanuts & Roasted Corn.
Inspired by the colour and flavour of street food in Latin America, the sweet cashew nuts are coated in a special chilli and lime seasoning and oven baked slowly. The peanuts are lightly salted and baked. Once the nuts are perfectly seasoned they are mixed in with the chilli corn kernels to create the perfect blend of citrus and spice.

Oven Baked Salted Cashews & Peanuts.
Each ingredient is baked separately with just the right amount of sprinkled salt (that stays on the nut) to produce the perfect ‘crunch’. Liberation knows that peanuts need just a little bit longer under the heat than cashews and when all are perfectly bronzed, the nuts are cooled before being mixed and bagged.

Oven Baked Mixed Peppercorn Peanuts with Cashews & Habas Fritas.
These hot, spicy mixed peppercorn coated peanuts are speckled with ground peppercorns, packing a real peppery taste! Not forgetting the Habas Fritas, these broad beans have been deep fried and seasoned with salt to create a crispy, crunchy and golden roasted snack.

To win answer this simple question in the form below. Liberation Foods is a farmer owned what company ?

Click here to view this promotion.

You can learn more about Liberation Fairtrade Nuts by clicking here.

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Alma de Cuba Coffee Review http://www.corpulentcapers.com/alma-de-cuba-coffee-review/ http://www.corpulentcapers.com/alma-de-cuba-coffee-review/#respond Mon, 09 Feb 2015 20:05:40 +0000 http://www.corpulentcapers.com/?p=2020 Over the years I’ve sampled many different coffees and visitors to Corpulent Towers have come to expect a decent cup to be served.  So much so that they only ever comment when what they get doesn’t live up the normal standards. So it was interesting when a cup of Alma De Cuba, prompted a fellow visiting coffee lover to exclaim [&hellip

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Over the years I’ve sampled many different coffees and visitors to Corpulent Towers have come to expect a decent cup to be served.  So much so that they only ever comment when what they get doesn’t live up the normal standards.

So it was interesting when a cup of Alma De Cuba, prompted a fellow visiting coffee lover to exclaim how much he liked that day’s brew.

Alma De CubaOnce upon a time, before the revolution, Cuba was the world’s largest exporter of coffee exporting over 20,000 tonnes a year.  These days that’s down to less than 5,000 tonnes even less of which is good quality.

Fortunately The Cuba Mountain Coffee Company signed a deal in early 2014 to invest £2.4m into the Cuban coffee farming community over the following five years.  The result is Alma de Cuba (Soul of Cuba) coffee.

Grown in the rich, loamy fertile soil of the Cuba’s mountains. Shaded by Cuba’s native trees and temperature regulated by the Caribbean trade winds these beans can rival some of the best in the world.

The flavour has great depth and a silky richness, remaining smooth but clean.  On the nose it has a smokiness that reminded me of almost of good barbecue.  Surprisingly this coffee works equally well with and without milk, a bonus of those that just can’t get their heads round drinking it black.

Corpulent Capers: Alma de Cuba Capsules

Alma de Cuba Capsules

Now if you are a Nespresso™ user there’s even more great news as Alma de Cuba have launched a new range of premium Nespresso©-compatible capsules. These are intense, with wonderful silkiness and a lingering finish which allows the unique and consistent flavour of Alma de Cuba to infuse through.

This really is an excellent coffee and no doubt it will only get better as the plantations see the benefit of that investment.  Resplendent in its distinctive packaging Alma de Cuba is well worth a try.  Whether you prefer espresso, filter, black, white or now Nespresso™ you won’t be disappointed.

All Alma de Cuba coffees are available for worldwide delivery online at almacuba.com or wholesale to selected outlets globally – email coffee@almacuba.com

Review samples were provided by the nice people at rock pr.

 

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