Page last updated at 10:04 GMT, Friday, 17 September 2010 11:04 UK
A feast of flavours at Abergavenny Food Festival
Visitors flock to the food stalls at the Abergavenny Food Festival
Over 35,000 people visited the festival last year

Foodies from across the UK descend on Abergavenny this weekend to enjoy the 12th annual food festival.

Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and national poet of Wales Gillian Clarke open the festival on 18 September.

Visitors can enjoy masterclasses and tutored tastings with chefs, including Bruno Loubert and Henry Harris and celebrated chocolatier Paul A Young.

Michelin starred chef Sat Bains will be creating some special dishes using produce from the Great Taste Awards.

Abergavenny's place on the culinary map of the UK is already well established with a cluster of award-winning restaurants such as The Walnut Tree and The Hardwick and food producers like the True Taste award winners Trealy Farm Charcuterie.

Sausage making at the Children's food academy
Younger food enthusiasts are catered for at the Children's Food Academy

In addition to food stalls and street entertainment, over 80 events will take place, showcasing flavours from around the globe and hearing from some of the world's most respected chefs, food writers and critics.

Bulgarian cookery writer Silvena Rowe will introduce the cooking of the old Ottoman world which combines fragrance and spice and sweet and sour flavours.

Bruno Loubert will show why he's the master of bistro cooking with his celebrated Bistro Loubert in London's Zetter Hotel.

The flavours of Spain and France will also be celebrated with a masterclass on seasonal tapas from Jose Pizarro, co-founder of Brindisa Tapas Kitchens, and Henry Harris, chef patron at Racine in London, will demonstrate what he calls 'properly done French bourgeois cookery'.

Sat Bains
Michelin starred chef Sat Bains will create dishes from award winning produce.

Closer to home, the spotlight falls on foods from Wales as two chefs, James Sommerin from the Crown at Whitebrook and Bridgend-born Richard Davies of the Manor House Hotel present the Great Welsh Menu.

The beer of Wales is also celebrated when beer writer of the year, Pete Brown, introduces his selection of some of the finest microbreweries.

For those with a sweeter tooth a top chocolatier is presenting a tutored tasting.

Paul A Young has won a World Gourmand Award for his work with chocolate combining innovative flavour combinations and has a chain of shops around London.

Jay Rayner.
Restaurant critic Jay Rayner will give the audience the opportunity to review his performance at the festival

Restaurant critic Jay Rayner's acerbic reviews in the Observer have proved both a blessing and a curse to restaurants.

Jay will be recounting some of his worst dining experiences as he takes a look at the bad restaurant review.

Jay will also turn the mirror on himself by inviting the audience to provide live reviews of his performance via Twitter.

Abergavenny Food Festival's chief executive Kim Waters said:"The first festival was held 12 years ago on a wet Sunday in October and around 3,000 people came to it," he said.

"Last year's festival took place over a long weekend in September and was attended by around 35,000 people and was worth about £3m to the local economy."

He acknowledges that the hard work of local people in the town contributes to the festival.

"Around 300 local people are involved in the event, whether it be local businesses sponsoring or hosting events or people working as stewards. All of our car parking is organised by local sports clubs across the town, it's one of their biggest fundraising events.

He adds: "It's a fantastic example of the community pulling together. It's a real testament to the town."

Abergavenny Food Festival runs from 18-19 September. Visit for more information.

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