Abergavenny Food Festival
Now in its fifth year, the Abergavenny Food Festival is going from strength to strength and has earnt it the nickname of The Glastonbury of Food Festivals. This September, Silla went along, with her family, to take a look:
‘Working at Feng Sushi takes up a lot of my time, so a weekend away with Dave and kids was the perfect way of combining a bit of research with some quality family time. There was so much to see and do, as well as taste, that we all got something special out of it.
Dave, who is one half of the team that creates our wonderful menus each season, spent time chatting with Michael from the Severn & Wye Smokery. We have been keeping a close eye on S&W thanks to their focus on developing sustainable eel, and we’re always interested in how they’re progressing. They’re determined to release more eels into the wild than they take out, and Dave has made a tentative arrangement to check out the smokery to see how this certificated sustainable fishery does it. I was also interested in the work Severn and Wye does with VAR salmon, a delicate sustainable farmed salmon from the Faroe Island.
There are plenty of stalls and pop-ups selling grab-and-go food and drink – we were particularly impressed with the sustainable eel with bubble and squeak served by Severn & Wye Smokery and produced by the SEG-approved sustainable eel farm in Royal Danish Hanstholm – and there are tastings, masterclasses, interactive children’s workshops, talks and opportunities to chat with chefs and cooks from all over the world. We enjoyed in particular Matthew Fort interviewing Pierre Koffman (known as the ‘chef’s chef’), Kate Humble (TV’s Countryfile), Cyrus Todiwala (Café Spice Namaste), Carolyn Steel and many, many more. My sister, Trine Hahnemann, was also there sharing tips from her latest book ‘Scandinavian Christmas’, and Liz Knight from Forage Fine Food told us how her products are inspired by the food she finds around her Welsh Borders Home. The kids were proud to see their aunt in action and duly participated in Trine and Liz’s excellent event, by tasting all the foraged ingredients that has been transformed into chutneys, syrups and jams-perfect for Christmas treats for family and friends.
The kids loved the excitement as well as the food and, thanks to some fabulous weather and a beautiful setting, this is one festival we’ll definitely be booking up for again next year.