Llangollen is to be the culinary capital of the UK for food festival weekend

The picturesque town where Wales meets the world will be the culinary capital of the UK for a whole weekend.

There to greet them at Hamper Llangollen 2013 on Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20, will be some of Wales’s  top chefs who have signed up as the stars of the popular food festival.

The event has now established itself as one of the very best in the UK.

Hamper Llangollen was named in the Top 10 food festivals in Britain by the national newspaper, The Independent.

This year’s festival is being supported by the rural development agency, Cadwyn Clwyd.

Cadwyn Clwyd’s contribution came via the Rural Development Fund for Wales 2007-2013, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and the Welsh Government.

Among the highlights this year will be the revival of Britain’s oldest biscuit which dates back to the 13th century.

James Shepherd and his wife, Natasha, from Llansannan, in Conwy, have set up a company to make the historic Aberffraw Biscuit which was first baked in the Anglesey village of the same name 800 years ago.

The tasty scallop-shaped biscuit will be launched at the new products section of Hamper Llangollen.

There will also be a comeback from the woman who co-founded the festival – but this time as one of the exhibitors.

Sue Haygarth was instrumental in setting up Hamper Llangollen and has chosen this year’s event as the launchpad for her own one-woman business.

She was Denbighshire County Council’s Regeneration and Investment officer from 1996 to 2011 when she took early retirement through redundancy

Her spicily named company, KarmaSucre, makes delicious macarons, all of them with natural fillings like homemade lemon curd, passion fruit coulis and salted caramel using Anglesey Sea Salt.

It was 16 years ago that Sue, from Buckley, and Lowri Owain from the rural regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd, came up with the idea for a food festival at Llangollen.

She said: “It will be great going to Llangollen, I’m sure I will know lots of people there and it will be good to have to stand and sell my own produce to a big audience.”

Meanwhile, Christmas is coming early for pampered pooches – with a range of doggie treats being launched at Hamper Llangollen.

Canine chef Sharon Ludgate, 34, will be unveiling the new festive cakes and biscuits made for dogs at the popular festival.

According to Sharon, from Penyffordd, near Buckley, in Flintshire, who started her company, Pupcakes, earlier this year, her products are also suitable for human consumption.

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted and so excited to have been invited to attend the Hamper 2013 Llangollen Food Festival, it’s such a massive honour and privilege.

“I’m launching three new specially flavoured Christmas cakes for dogs, apple and cinnamon, ginger and cranberry.”

Colin Loughlin, chair of the local committee that runs the festival.

He said: “This year Graham Tinsley, the star of ITV’s Taste the Nation and a former captain of the Welsh Culinary Team, will be joined in the show kitchen at the festival by the ever popular Dai Chef.

“We have a wonderful array of fantastic food producers clustered in the area and the festival is the perfect shop window for them.”

“Hamper Llangollen is celebrating its 16th anniversary this year and is firmly and rightly established as a major highlight in the UK’s culinary calendar.”

For more information about Hamper Llangollen 2013 go to: www.llangollenfoodfestival.com

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