Fabulous Food Festivals!

Taste of Monmouthshire
Shire Hall in Monmouth 18th & 19th August 2018

Taste of Monmouthshire is a boutique food and drink festival held in the historic venue of Shire Hall in the county town ofMonmouth. The county of Monmouthshire is the Food Capital of Wales and boasts many award winning hotels and restaurants together with top quality food and drink producers. The festival features a full programme of demonstrations, talks and tastings and children’s workshops. The Chef’s Theatre hosts demonstrations by a number of our award winning chefs together they hold 1 Michelin star and a total of 10 AA Rosettes.

Also demonstrating is the principal of a local cookery school and a semi finalist of Professional Master Chef. Also featured are a variety of Talks and Tastings including a master local forager who works with a Michelin award winning restaurant, an award winning local vineyard and a master chocolatier to name but a few.

The children are well catered for in the Kid’s Kitchen with lots of hands-on cookery workshops including bread making and pasta. Together with a great range of local food and drink to sample and take home, it makes for a great day out for all the family.

Ticket is £5 per person, children under 12 free. Ticket includes free entry to all demonstrations, talks, tastings and Kid’s Kitchen activities. Tickets can be bought online or purchased on the day.

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Abergavenny Food Festival
15th – 16th September 2018

2018 marks the 20th edition of the Abergavenny Food Festival and organisers have announced that this year’s festival will see some of the UK’s progressive chefs, food producers, farmers, cooks, and campaigners invited to join the celebration, showcasing the very best of British food and drink.

Appearing over the weekend will be chef and author José Pizarro, chef Jack Stein, restaurant critic and broadcaster Grace Dent, Saturday Kitchen’s Matt Tebbutt, award-winning BBQ experts Hang Fire BBQ, London-based Ghanaian chef Zoe Adjonyoh, Observer Food Monthly Rising Star for 2018 Nargisse Benkabbou, chef and author Thom Eagle, best-selling food writer, cook and stylist Anna Jones, James Whetlor of the award-winning Cabrito Goat Meat and River Cottage chef Gill Meller. The full programme line up for the festival will be announced in June.

‘Morning Meditation’ will take place with Observer Food Monthly editor Allan Jenkins in conversation about his new book, and the Borough Theatre will host a 100 Years of Women in Food event featuring Sybil Kapoor, Jane Baxter, Zoe Adjonyoh and others to be confirmed. Aine Morris, CEO of Abergavenny Food Festival says of this year’s festival: “Abergavenny Food Festival is where people come to be inspired, hear new ideas and build relationships with others in food and farming. For our 20th edition, we have focused on profiling the incredible talent that exists across Wales and the entire British Isles.”

“We will be profiling exciting new food producers, meeting the chefs disrupting restaurant kitchens, looking back over 100 years of women in the kitchen, and exploring a whole range of ideas about how we build British food culture. Abergavenny was founded by two farmers in 1999 as a direct response to the BSE crisis. 20 years on we will be asking what has changed, and what the future food production looks like in an uncertain climate.”

Day and weekend wristbands are on sale for this year’s festival now. Please check the abergavennyfoodfestival.com website for further details and to sign up to the festival newsletter to receive updates first.

New for this year: Revamped demo stage in Abergavenny’s iconic Market Hall, which this year will host all chef demos free of charge. Newly combined kids’ and adults’ cookery school at The Castle, sponsored by new partners River Cottage and Piper’s Farm. Launch of a new festival site, which will be home to an expanded farmyard, features a Welsh craft ale bar, and more activities for children and families. Please keep an eye on social media or sign up to the newsletter to receive festival news first.

Newent Onion Fayre
Newent town centre, GL18 1BZ, Saturday 8th September

Known as Gloucestershire’s largest one-day festival, Newent Onion Fayre returns on Saturday 8th September 2018 to the great delight of onion enthusiasts.

Described as the world’s only event of its kind dedicated to the onion family, the autumn show offers live music, street stalls and plenty of entertainment in the heart of the Forest of Dean. The fayre’s history can be traced back to 800 years to the 13th century, the annual event was revived in 1996 and has since proven a great highlight on the Forest of Dean calendar – attracting around 15,000 visitors from the south west and beyond.

You can see contestants eating their way through a five- and seven-ounce onion for women and men respectively, with the quickest awarded a trophy and the award of champion onion eater for that year. The first round is the Ladies event. Ten contestants only are given a 5oz peeled raw onion to consume in the fastest possible time. Then the men, spilt into two heats of 10 compete against each other and chomp their way through a 7oz onion as if it is an apple. Once the onion is consumed the contestant holds their arms outstretched with mouth wide open before the judges declare them the winner.

Last year’s winners were Leanne Wright, winner of the Ladies’ event with her time of 1 minute 14 seconds; and Alex Navari, the men’s champion with his winning time of 1 minute 16 seconds. The annual event held in Newent, has three stages of live music, food village, street entertainers, dancing, fairground rides, exhibitions, lakeside events and over 150 stands with arts, crafts and plants to name but a few.