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Llangollen food festival celebrates 20th anniversary this weekend

A face fashioned from a butternut squash by chainsaw sculptor Simon O’Rourke Credit: Llangollen Food Festival

Thousands of foodies will be heading to the annual Llangollen Food Festival this weekend.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, it will be held at the Llangollen Pavilion which also stages the Llangollen International Musical Festival.

It's estimated the festival pumps nearly £400,000 into the local economy every year, making a total of £8 million since it started.

The top chefs revealing their recipes for success will include Bryan Webb from the Michelin-starred Tyddyn Llan, former captain of the Wales Culinary team Graham Tinsley and Dai Chef who will be there with his son, Daniel, the youngest head sommelier in the UK.

Artisan baker Robert Didier Credit: Llangollen Food Festival

Among those celebrity chefs is Graham Tinsley MBE, who has prepared dishes for the Queen and Prince Charles and also created St David’s Day feasts at 10 Downing Street.

He will be leading the trio of top culinary maestros laying on a series of cookery demonstrations on the second day of the festival.

Currently executive head chef at the prestigious Carden Park in Cheshire, Graham said:

I love to use things from the smaller bespoke producers, so in the demonstrations we’ll be including such things as locally sourced meat as well as ice cream, rape seed oil, honey and beer which all come from producers based just a few miles away from Llangollen and are regular exhibitors at the festival.

– Graham Tinsley MBE
Chocolatier Jo Edwards breaking a world record making her truffles Credit: Llangollen Food Festival

The Llangollen Food Festival was founded in 1997 and attracts around 8,000 food lovers a year.

Committee member Pip Gale said:

We're heading for a record number of around 130 stallholders with a fantastic choice of produce, along with demonstrations from the region's finest chefs so there will be plenty to tempt the taste buds.

I'm glad to say we're also making a positive contribution the local economy with food lovers travelling from far and wide because the festival is now firmly and rightly established as a major highlight in the UK's culinary calendar.

– Pip Gale
Credit: Llangollen Food Festival

Among the first to congratulate the festival on reaching the milestone was Ken Skates, the Clwyd South AM who is also the Welsh Government's Cabinet Secretary for the Economy.

Food tourism is something I believe has huge potential for future growth and it is no wonder that North Wales has been hailed as one of the world's top four must see places to go by The Lonely Planet travel guide.

– Ken Skates