Liquid’s highlights from Abergavenny Food Festival
Last month, a handful of Liquidites headed off to the wonderful Welsh town of Abergavenny to attend the 2021 Abergavenny Food Festival, on behalf of our client Maple From Canada.
Throughout the weekend, the team visited a variety of different stalls, enjoying lots of delicious foods such as tacos, kebabs, vegetable fritters, and Cyrus Todiwala’s signature curries. There were plenty of drinks too – we tried everything from frozen margaritas and espresso martinis to local ciders and our favourite, an amazing Picpoul de Pinet from Naked Wines.
But our festival highlight was the ‘Cooking Over Fire’ stage and demonstrations by well-known chefs from around the country, who shared insights into seasonal eating as well as their favourite recipes and cooking tips. We’ve rounded up our best bits below.
Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn – Southern-style cooking
The first ‘Cooking Over Fire’ demonstration of the weekend came from Sam Evans and Shauna Guinn, stars of the BBC show Sam and Shauna’s Big Cook-Out, who were celebrating their seventh year at Abergavenny Food Festival.
Sam and Shauna embraced their love affair with Southern-style cooking by making picanha steak with cassoulet made from the ‘holy trinity’ of Creole flavours – celery, onion, and pepper – with black eyed peas and shrimp stock.
They accompanied the meal with charred corn to complement the wood fired, American BBQ flavours and served up enough for a lucky few festival-goers (including us!!) to sample.
Cyrus Todiwala – Mackerel wrapped in banana leaf and cannon of Welsh lamb
Next up was Abergavenny Food Festival veteran, Cyrus Todiwala, who was celebrating his 22nd year at the festival by cooking two dishes – mackerel wrapped in banana leaf and Welsh lamb with raw mango salad.
Whilst his meat and fish were cooking over the fire, Cyrus took the audience through how to make the raw mango salad with salt, mustard, onion, green chillies, lime juice and sugar and even gave some tips on how turmeric can be used to kill bacteria and keep meat safe.
Another top cooking tip from Cyrus was the secret to stop you crying when chopping onions – always breath through your mouth. This is because your nose and eyes are connected, so breathing through your mouth will prevent the scent from activating your tear ducts – simple but effective!
Tomos Parry – slow grilled whole Turbot with a grilled crab salad
Finally, Tomos Parry cooked one of his signature dishes from Brat, his Michelin-starred restaurant in Shoreditch, which specialises in cooking on coals and in wood-fired ovens.
Tomos, who won Young British Foodie Chef of the Year in 2014, cooked Anglesey-sourced flat fish and crab over the fire, a dish which was inspired by the flame-cooking methods of the Basque country. We think we’ll be investing in a fish basket!
So, following a lovely weekend full of eating, drinking, and lots of fun, the Liquidites returned to Birmingham full of ideas to try in our own kitchens and gardens. Abergavenny, we’ll see you next year!