How times have changed in the culinary world all over the United Kingdom over the past 30-40 years. A huge change has occurred on the food festival scene in Wales in recent times. Starting with just a handful of food festivals in Wales they are now big business and have become definite dates in the culinary calendar of many.
One of the most famous food festivals held in Wales is the Abergavenny food festival. It started 14 years ago with just 2,500 people attending on a wet Sunday, it is now attended by some 35,00 people and is a firm favourite not just in the culinary world but for local businesses and trader too. The food festival brings a huge increase of trade for local businesses.
There is now a total of 15 food based festivals in Wales including Abergavenny Food Festival, Mold Food Festival, Conwy Feast and Llangollen Food and Drink Festival. A desire to know where our food has come from is believed to have increased the demand for festivals such as these with people much more interested in local produce and supporting local food producers.
All senses are bombarded as you walk along the rows of artisan food stalls and smell the aromas of freshly cooked produce, no matter whether it is a sizzling hot chilli or a traditional sticky toffee pudding. All these artisan food producers have the skill to entice customers to try some of their produce as they walk by.
Many people will not accept the processed TV dinners that have been with us for so long and are turning their backs on all this unhealthy food for locally produced fresh food from producers such as those stallholders at the Abergavenny Food Festival.
The food festival this year had over 200 producers from Wales the Marches and area close by. The Abergavenny Food Festival has something for everyone not just rows of stalls with food to taste. There are workshops for children and celebrity chef demonstrations as well as events taking place inside Abergavenny Castle. A real treat for anyone remotely interested in food and is well worth a visit, each September.
Ecat Finalists now Announced
The newly launched Event Caterers Team Challenge (Ecats) at The Restaurant Show 2012 has been announced. The Ecats was launched to bring together the very best of private event caterers across the United Kingdom. It tests them to their limits in the delivery of corporate events, weddings, outdoor events and private events.
Ecats is in association with the craft guild of chefs and this event is set to get the competition theatre bustling with expectation on the 8th October at Earls Court. The finalists include teams of 4-5 people they are from the following establishments:
Fish Face Event Catering
CH&Co Catering Ltd
Purple Grape Catering
Ecats was invented to celebrate the wonderful talents of event chefs in catering, these talented chefs often wet overlooked as they do not have a restaurant or hotel of their own from which to showcase all their work. The chefs have been set the task of a real outside catering event. This event will be the perfect platform from which the talented chefs will be able to show everyone across the industry their best skills.
The competition brief is as follows:
“The catering company has been approached by a partner in a London city law firm who wants to organise a surprise birthday party for his partner in business who will be 50 years young on 31st October. As this is Halloween he has decided that it is to be themed as a black tie masked Halloween ball, with 120 of their close friends and business colleagues invited. The client requires the following, a champagne reception with canapés [2 hot 2 cold], followed by a 3 course meal plus wine, coffee and Petit Fours. A request has been made for themed tables in keeping with the event.
The client has arranged for the event to be held at a local stately house, which has no restriction on which caterers can utilize the facility. Entertainment after the meal has also been arranged by the client. A budget of approximately £250 per person for the event caterer’s costs has been allocated.”
This is sure to get the chefs displaying all of their talents on the day with the prestigious award at the end of it. All the finalists will be battling it out on finals day to win the coved award.