Taste the difference at new Swansea food festival
SOME of the biggest names in food and wine — along with plenty of tasty treats — will be coming to South West Wales this weekend for a major new food festival.
The bosses behind the Welsh Menu Live event in Swansea hope it will help to put the region on the food map, and attract crowds of keen foodies to the city centre.
Among the highlights of the three-day event will be a cooking demonstration from Welsh chef Bryn Williams — who shot to fame on the BBC's Great British Menu and is now Chef Patron of Odette's in London — the Sunday Telegraph's wine expert and Saturday Kitchen regular Suzy Atkins, and food writer Sophie Grigson.
Chris Williams, from Figleaf Media, the firm behind the festival, said the event was an opportunity for Swansea to position itself as a food destination.
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She said: "Swansea has a great food heritage and we believe there is an opportunity to build on this inaugural event to create a flagship food festival for the region to complement the local produce markets that are so successful.
"We believe creating the right atmosphere is essential to the success of any event, so we've lined up some great local entertainment plus a few exciting 'ones to watch'.
"We hope the end result will be enjoyed by the local community as well as by visitors to the area."
The event launches on Friday evening with an eight course tutored "taste of Gower" dinner, and will be followed over the three-day bank holiday weekend by demonstrations, tastings and activities in the Dragon Hotel, Princess Street and Castle Square.
Organisers say the emphasis of the festival will be on locally sourced, quality ingredients.
Welsh Menu Live also offers a junior foodies programme, giving children the chance to get hands on with food.
Recent years have a seen a boom in food festivals across Wales to capitalise on people's growing interest in cooking and in ingredients. The biggest annual event is September's Abergavenny food fest which attracts tens of thousands of people to the market town, but other celebrations of good-grub have sprung up from Aberystwyth to Narbeth and Cowbridge. Neath has recently launched an annual food festival, while Swansea hosts the Evening Post's Get Welsh festival every February. The weekend's event is being supported by Swansea Council and Swansea Business Improvement District.
Mrs Williams, from Figleaf, added: "We believe it has the potential to become a major annual destination event, not only on the Swansea calendar, but also as part of the Welsh food festival schedule."