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Line Up for Abergavenny Food Festival 2019 announced

May 17th, 2019


Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver: Photo Credit: Jason Lowe

Abergavenny Food Festival has announced a raft of new events and speakers joining the line-up at this year’s event, taking place over the weekend of 21st-22nd September.

The festival will welcome some of the most influential figures in British cooking, as Fergus Henderson and St. JOHN co-founder Trevor Gulliver (above) return to Abergavenny. Fergus and Trevor, the team behind St. JOHN (and its sister establishments) as well as owners of a winery in Minervois in France, will be discussing their new book, The Book of St John (Ebury Press).  It is hard to underestimate how much their food and their philosophy has changed the face of British food; their new recipe book provides a unique insight into one of the cornerstones of the British restaurant scene.

In 2019 – happily coinciding with the Year of the Pig – St. JOHN and its iconic brand are celebrating 25 years of unforgettable, pioneering food. Appearing ‘in-conversation’ at the Borough Theatre visitors can expect to be regaled with trademark verve, discovering the distinctive spirit of the original pioneers of nose-to-tail cooking.

Award-winning food writer and author of more than ten books Diana Henry will also be appearing at the Borough Theatre, discussing the writing that inspires her and her life beyond food, visitors can join writer Angela Clutton for a vinegar masterclass, Saturday Kitchen wine expert Olly Smith will impart all he knows about fizz cocktails, and chef Zoe Adjonyoh will be cooking over fire. Catch returning food festival favourite José Pizarro, fresh from the launch of his new book ‘Andalusia’ and appearing on the Market Hall stage, Jaega Wise joins Pete Brown to discover Beers and Cider of Wales, and fine spirits and cocktail aficionados Joel Harrison and Neil Ridley bring a ‘Weekend Cocktails’ class and an exploration of the world of gin to the 2019 festival programme of events.

Among those already confirmed for this year are Asma Khan, Xanthe Clay, Sandor Katz, Bee Wilson, Rosie Birkett, Elly Curshen, Emiko Davies, Genevieve Taylor, Fozia Ismail, Pete Brown, Jekka McVicar and chefs Anissa Helou, Sam and Shauna from Hangfire BBQ, Copenhagen’s Trine Hahnemann, Gareth Ward, Josh Eggleton, Tom Hunt, Cyrus Todiwala and Tommy Heaney. 

Smoking Goat chef Ali Borer has also joined the line-up for cooking over fire at the Castle as have Imogen Davis and Ivan Tisdall-Downes from restaurant Native who will also be taking a group for a ‘Wild and Foraged’ event. Pig farmer Martha Roberts and writer Tim Hayward will be hosting a tasting workshop on ‘Everything but the Oink’, Alissa Timoshkina is to hold a cookery class on the subject of her book ‘Salt & Time’ and will join John Gregory-Smith and John Whaite on a panel to discuss how locally sourced, British produce can be used to replicate international flavours. Laurian Veaudour returns to the festival with a patisserie masterclass, Chris Harrod of Monmouthshire’s Michelin-starred The Whitebrook will demo on the Market Hall Stage, TV’s Dirty Vegan Matt Pritchard is cooking ‘Vegan Over Fire’ up at the Castle, and South Wales based smallholder Muhsen Hassanin will join a panel to discuss Foods of the Islamic World to be hosted by Sheila Dillon  of BBC Radio 4’s The Food Programme.

Day and weekend wristbands are on sale now, along with initial event tickets. Please check the website for further details and to sign up to the festival newsletter to receive updates.

Abergavenny Food Festival welcomes leading food aficionados from across the world to the Welsh market town of Abergavenny. Expect a top-quality line-up of chef demos, cookery classes, drinks events, foraging tours, wild-cooking classes, debates and discussions.

Aine Morris, CEO of Abergavenny Food Festival says of this year’s festival:
“To have a programme that is such a reflection of the dynamic change and creativity we are seeing across UK food and farming is massively exciting. We are very pleased to be showcasing more women and more diversity at the food festival than ever before.

“If you love food in all its forms, then Abergavenny offers so much more than just the chance to fill your bellies. This year’s festival promises to be truly world class, delivering delicious experiences, whilst also dealing with the thorny issues facing the future of the industry.

“Abergavenny is fundamentally about food and introducing visitors to the people who dedicate their lives to making it. We aim to get you tasting new products, learning new skills, and shaking the hand that feeds you. In the face of great environmental and economic uncertainty our farmers, food producers and restaurants need the support of the British public more than ever, and food fest 2019 is the place to come if you want to understand why.”

‘Wild & Foraged’ events
Look out for the expanded ‘Wild & Foraged’ programme, which will take visitors out of town to discover the bounty that the surrounding Welsh countryside has to offer. From a mushroom walk in the Wye Valley to a Seashore Forage with Henry Ashby. You can make Wild Cocktails with grower and author Mark Diacono and forager Liz Knight and learn Wild Cooking with fire aficionados, Genevieve Taylor and Henry Eldon of The Cauldron restaurant.

Feasting at the Festival
A merry band of chefs, cooks, wine merchants and hospitality pros are set to whip up a storm for the food fest’s annual Saturday night feast One More, No More. Featuring in the kitchen, guardian columnist and cookbook writer Rachel Roddy, chefs and authors Rosie Sykes and Claire Thomson along with chefs Matthew Williamson and Sam Sohn-Rethel with Stacey Smith, Ben Llewelyn and Ruth Spivey on the floor. Five courses with wine to match. More details to be released soon.

The Farmyard grows for 2019
The Farmyard area is expanding significantly to include the ‘Farming Matters’ stage with talks, debates and discussion on the future of farming in the UK. Our Welsh chef demo stage returns to showcase the very best produce and the incredible talent that Wales has to offer. Around the festival farmyard you’ll find a Tiny Rebel bar, a rare breed animal petting paddock, art installations and a market for products made on-farm.

After Hours
Tickets for the annual Community Feast in Abergavenny’s iconic Market Hall with the Angel Bakery, plus the Friday night Stomp at the Castle and legendary Saturday night Party at the Castle are all now on sale via the website.

As always visitors can expect to find around 220 food and drink producers trading across nine market sites including: Cheese and Wine, Fish & Fizz, Street Food and night market, and a special area for New Food Producers. Traders will include Trealy Farm Charcuterie, Halen Mon, Borough Market’s Heritage Cheese, and many, many more.

Wristband and ticket sales
Weekend and day wristbands giving access to all Producer Markets and free chef demos are on sale now via

Tickets will be sold separately for all events at the Borough Theatre, Masterclasses, Drinks Theatre, Tutored Tastings, Foraging Tours and off-site events and the Cookery School. Check the website for further info.

The full line-up for the festival will be announced and on sale in June.

Those with an NP7 postcode will receive 20% off the cost of their wristband available online now using the code LOCAL. To qualify for the local discount, proof of address must be shown when online purchases are exchanged for wristbands during the festival.

There will be a 10% discount available for groups of 10 or more. Please go to for more details.

Abergavenny Food Festival is excited to welcome returning sponsors Triodos Bank, Chase Distillery, Belazu, Riverford Organic, Real Kombucha, Seedlip and Pipers Farm.

Twitter: @afoodfestival
Instagram: @afoodfestival
Facebook: Abergavenny Food Festival

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