A town where Wales meets the world will be transformed into the culinary capital of the UK – for one weekend only.

Thousands of foodies will be heading for the annual Llangollen Food Festival which has established itself as a major highlight in the gastronomic calendar.

This year’s event on Saturday and Sunday, October 14 and 15, will be even more special because the organisers are celebrating its 20th anniversary in style.

As ever, the venue will be the iconic pavilion which also stages the iconic Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod which attracts singers and dancers from all over the world.

The Pioneer has teamed up with the food festival organisers to offer readers the chance to win a hamper of goodies, with five pairs of tickets up for grabs for the runners-up.

The event has been named as one of the Top 10 food festivals in the UK by the Independent and Daily Telegraph newspapers.

It’s estimated the festival pumps nearly £400,000 into the local economy every year, making a total of £8m since it started two decades ago.

The regular stallholders at the festival include a husband and wife team whose African-inspired sauces made at their base in Afonwen have won a wealth of top food industry accolades.

Bim’s Kitchen, the brainchild of James and Nicola Adedeji, are preparing to unveil their latest culinary creations at this year’s event on October 14 and 15.

James said: “The festival offers a direct route to our customers. People are able to taste our products before they buy and you get great feedback from them and can gauge their reaction.”

Another big fan of the festival is artisan bread and pie maker Robert Didier from Wrexham-based Orchard Pigs.

He said: “Llangollen Food Festival is fantastic and it’s not difficult to see why it has been named as one of the Top 10 food festivals in the UK by not just one but two national newspapers.”

Among the celebrity chefs this year is Graham Tinsley MBE, who has prepared dishes for the Queen and Prince Charles on at least a dozen occasions and also created St David’s Day feasts at 10 Downing Street, can’t wait to showcase it at this year’s Llangollen Food Festival.

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

Currently executive head chef at the prestigious Carden Park in Cheshire, Graham said: “Myself and two other big-name chefs from the North Wales Culinary Guild, which I head up, will be doing six demonstrations on the Sunday of Llangollen Food Festival, featuring starters, mains and puddings.

“What they’ll all have in common is excellent local ingredients. Without doubt, North Wales produces some of the best produce in the world which I champion at every opportunity.

“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.

“And as I use them I’ll be pointing out to the people watching exactly how good they are and which stalls they can buy them from. That’s what shows like this are all about.”

To find out more about Llangollen Food Festival, visit www.llangollenfoodfestival.com.

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