Think Abergavenny and there’s a chance you’ll also think of amazing food. Great places to eat, a thriving market and regular street food events and of course, biggest of all, the ABERGAVENNY FOOD FESTIVAL. Now celebrating 20+ years, its reputation has grown along with the event itself. Not only with the thousands who attend each year but as a place for chefs, food businesses, journalists, farmers and food producers to come together.

The dates are now set for this year’s event. The traders are being lined up, food and drink companies will be ready to tempt us with their goodies, and the stage will be set for a weekend of live music and fun.

South Wales Life went along to last year’s festival and spoke to celebrity chef CYRUS TODIWALA.

Think Indian Cuisine and one name instantly comes to mind and that is Cyrus. He’s been a regular favourite on out TV screens for more years than we remember, but actually, has been a welcome visitor to the ABERGAVENNY FOOD FESTIVAL for even more.

Abergavenny Food Festival

Such is our appetite (sorry) for this event, that the weekend sells out really quickly. If you want our advice, we’d get in quick for the tickets once they go on sale on the 1st April.

Like most events, the festival has had a tough few years, with a virtual event during the thick of the pandemic, and a slightly smaller show last year.

Speaking at the start of last year’s event, Kim Waters, Festival Chief Executive said…..

“We are so thrilled to be up and running again after a very difficult time. We know how valuable it is to connect socially. And, of course, we also realise how badly the whole hospitality sector has been hit. Come join us and show your appreciation. Support our growers, producers, chefs, writers and caterers.

Shop from over a hundred stalls, take time out to eat great food with friends, learn something new and get inspired. It may be a slightly different event this year, but our reason to be remains the same. On behalf of the Festival I would like to personally thank our headline sponsors: Schroders Personal Wealth, Naked Wines, and Griffiths Civil Engineering and Construction whose support has been crucial.”

Abergavenny Food Festival enjoys an exceptional reputation as a place for chefs, food businesses, journalists, farmers and food producers to come together. They are known for being an inclusive and welcoming event, delivering a delicious opportunity for people from all walks of life to explore and learn about food

The Festival is a place to explore and learn about food, and eat a little more than you think you can. There’s a huge programme of activities, including tastings, masterclasses, hands-on cookery lessons and debates and there is so much for the kids’ to see and do. If it’s food related you can bet Abergavenny has it all.

As the festival weekend finally begins, thousands of us will wander through town over the two days. There is so much more than you could ever imagine at the festival. When people arrive, they inevitably stay for the day, and sometimes well into the evening. With cookery demonstrations, the fringe festival and events at the Castle, why wouldn’t you?

After Hours the Festival party continues. In fact you’ll love the buzz around town in the evening with the night market, a little tipple or two, so much live entertainment, Saturday Night Party at the Castle and of course the legendary firework display.

What we particularly love about the festival is the emphasis it pays on our children. The festival is all about getting them growing, cooking and tasting new things. With that in mind, they run a kids’ cookery school, with lots of free cookery classes for the little ones throughout the weekend. Beyond cooking there is plenty to keep them busy and entertained too.

If you’ve never been to this festival before, don’t for one minute think it’s a load of stalls selling delicious food – well, it is that, but so much more. Through their outstanding programme of activities, including product tastings, kids’ activities, masterclasses, hands-on cookery lessons and topical debates, the ABERGAVENNY FOOD FESTIVAL provides the inside track on food issues, offer new ideas about the future of our food and showcase rising stars emerging from the industry.

The Festival prides itself on transforming the way we all think about our food; challenging and promoting new ideas, pushing the boundaries of current thinking and encouraging us to look differently at where our food comes from.

(Neil White)

The SOUTH WALES LIFE team have worked on some of the biggest food & drink shows around the country for a long time. We worked out it must be in excess of 20 years. We’ve done everything from Taste in London to BBC Good Food alongside some of our biggest named chef’s (Ramsey, Oliver, Martin, Stein etc). In fact one day we’ll tell you the about the time Mary Berry made us breakfast.

We mention that because we can honestly say that Abergavenny has something very special where food is concerned. It’s about community too. It’s a place where people come together not only to try and watch great food being made, but talk and listen to what experts have to say.

We spoke to Jack Stein (Ricks’ Son) in 2019, he was parked next to us and was running a little behind schedule. As one of the guest chefs he was thrilled to be taking part in such a prestigious event. He said…

‘Abergavennys’ food reputation is well known and respected everywhere.’

Jack Stein

Over the years, the festival has presented some of our best known names in food: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver, Monica Galetti, Jane Baxter, Jose Pizarro and Valentine Warner, to name but a few. This year we’re sure you’ll get the chance to see some star chefs in action, to taste incredible food but more importantly, have fun with the whole family.

Matt Tebbutt & Freddy Bird (Neil White)

So what about this year? It’s impossible to list every guest, talk and demonstration going on during the festival, mainly because they haven’t announced the schedule as yet. However it looks, and whoever is coming along, what we can tell you, is that you are in for a real treat.

Party at the Castle (Neil White)

As for the music, the Saturday night PARTY AT THE CASTLE is always a quick sell out. If you’ve been before, then you know it’s a special and magical event set amidst the romantic castle ruins with high-octane entertainment, and fabulous food and drink to buy.

ABERGAVENNY FOOD FESTIVAL is over this weekend, the 17th and 18th September. As you can imagine it will be busy, as the festival is spread all across town and up to the Castle. It’s really worth a visit anytime (as long as you pre-buy your wristband).

For more details CLICK HERE They are in the process of redesigning their website, we suspect that will be up and running in time for the box office going live.