Full line up for Abergavenny Food Festival 2015 announced

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

Pop Up 4 Lunch! New Street Food Menu at Purple Poppadom

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.

New Slow Food® group launches – Slow Food South East Wales / y De-ddwyrain.

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.

Fairtrade Fortnight Liberation Nuts Giveaway

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.

Alma de Cuba Coffee Review

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.