Declared an outstanding success, the 17th annual Brecon Beacons Food Festival has taken a massive bite out of the credit crunch with thousands of people descending into the market town last Saturday determined to buy fresh local produce. In fact, the majority of stallholders did such a roaring trade that most of them sold out before lunch!
The al-fresco Brecon market place bustled with activity, with more than 70 stalls offering everything from the finest apple juice, honey, homemade pies, pasta, curries, pastries, bread, cheeses, cakes, chocolate, gluten free and vegan produce and other tantalising treats like freshly-sourced local bacon, pork, beef, lamb and pork.
Cllr Geraint Powell, Chairman of the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority praised the festival saying: “Everyone at the National Park Authority is enormously proud of the Brecon Beacons Food Festival and we are so very grateful to all our supporters from near and afar, and our funders – including the Welsh Government. So many festivals like this one have fallen by the wayside because of funding issues so everyone here deserves so much praise for keeping it going under tough times. The food, the choirs, the music, the competitors – this is a real community spirited event and it gets better year after year.”
Andrew Powell, Catering Manager for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and organiser of the event said: “It was great to see the whole town buzzing on Saturday. Most of the stallholders had to have their produce restocked three or four times and a lot had completely sold out by 2pm. We welcomed 14 new food producers this year to the festival and we hope that they will be back again next year. I’d like to say a massive thank you to all the chefs that took part in the cookery demonstrations – they are hugely popular at the Festival every year and they put so much into their cooking on stage. Gwen Kenschington from Sennybridge County Primary School won the Young Chef of the Year competition which was proudly sponsored by Christ College. And just for those that didn’t make it I can reveal that Sue Charles beat Derek Brockway in the Great Ready Steady Cook competition and we’re delighted that they are both coming back next year to challenge each other again.”
As well as funding support from the Welsh Government and Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, the Food Festival has also been kindly supported by Christ College, who is sponsoring the Young Chef of the Year competition, The Brecon & Radnor Express, National Farmers Mutual, Castell Howell Foods, Celtic Pride, Brecon Carreg, The Felinfach Griffin which is part of the Eat Drink Sleep Group and The Castle of Brecon Hotel.
Picture Credits – Peter Williams
Andrew Powell, event organiser pictured with Derek Brockway and Sue Charles.