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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Newport - New Food Festival

Newport is the latest city to stage a food festival, and the last weekend in October will see the inaugural event.

What it will not be is Abergavenny 20 miles south, Newport will be developing its own culture and basing its roots firmly in the city.

Most events will be focussed on the Indoor Market and the streets between there and the Riverfront.

Community and Sustainability are the watchwords for this new and exciting festival, indeed amongst the aims are:

We want to promote local and regional food and drink, so that people buy local so that we retain local expenditure and grow businesses.

We want people to learn about food, where it comes from, experience different cultures and tastes, understand how to cook and ensure we live a healthy lifestyle that is affordable and easy to engage with.

We want our event to raise awareness of food waste in terms of packaging, leftovers and how we can reuse some food items.

We want people to travel sustainably to our food festival where other transport is available, other than the car.

We want people to share experiences and spread the message that you can act sustainably

Raising the awareness of food is clearly paramount to the Festival and the local ties are strong. Both MiniChefs and TeenChefs will compete for a title. Mini Chefs are from local Primary Schools and the TeenChefs are teams of four from the Youth Service.

Early encouragement to eat healthily and well from real unprocessed ingredients is a major plank of the campaign against obesity so it is very encouraging to see this.

The Festival kicks off with a Festival Feast based around recipes from local chefs and eating establishments but here again there is an educational element as some unemployed people are given the chance to learn about food and then assist in the kitchen and front of house to gain real experience that could well lead to a job.

170 tickets are available for the Feast and well over half have already been sold so, if you want to go, book quickly and join us in the Indoor Market on Friday 28th. The menu has been designed by chefs from three local pubs and restaurants at The Bell Inn, The Waterloo Hotel and Bistro and Gemelli and will showcase Newport’s culinary talent.
A full programme of events, chef demos and entertainment has been lined up for the weekend:

Details of the exhibitors are still coming in but certainly a couple of my favourite producers will be there, Roisin from Burren Bakery – amazing traditional soda breads, and Elm Tree Foods pies of great distinction and regular True Taste Award winners. In Elm Tree Newport may be developing a serious rival to Cardiff’s Clarks Pies. Call in, try one and judge for yourself.

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