We normally wait until June to announce more of our attendees, but at festival HQ we just couldn’t sit on our hands any longer. We’re thrilled to let you all know that Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver of St. JOHN restaurant will be joining us in Abergavenny this September. Fergus and Trevor, the team behind St. JOHN (and its sister establishments) will be discussing Fergus’ new book The Book of St JOHN celebrating 25 years of their work at the forefront of a revival in classic British cooking and eating. Fergus’ first book, Nose to Tail Eating was voted ‘most influential cookbook of all time’ by public and industry peers. The pair are widely regarded as two of the most influential restaurateurs in the UK and it is hard to underestimate how much their philosophy of enjoying all the ‘offaly bits’ and utilising the entire animal has changed the face of food in the UK.
Needless to say, we are excited to welcome Fergus and Trevor to Abergavenny and will be announcing tickets soon for their event.
BUT, the news doesn’t stop there …
Abergavenny festival favourite and superstar Spanish chef José Pizarro will be returning this year, fresh from the launch of his upcoming book celebrating 25 years of Spanish food in Britain. Award-winning food writer and author of eight books Diana Henry will be in discussing her life and work, exploring her literary inspirations and passions beyond food at the Borough Theatre. Angela Clutton will be hosting a vinegar making masterclass, Saturday Kitchen wine expert Olly Smith will impart all he knows about fizz cocktails, and chef Zoe Adjonyoh joins us on the Market Hall stage.
Jaega Wise scientist, beer aficionado and Head Brewer of Wild Card Brewery joins author and journalist 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 line-up for the 2019 festival.
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 Radio 4’s The Food Programme.
Aine Morris, our CEO 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.”
The full list of confirmed attendees is here. Wristbands and event tickets are on sale here, and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to get the news first when we announce more information and all event tickets go on sale in June.