A nod to the past could offer answers when it comes to food sustainability and the future of Wales’ rural communities.

That will be the theme when three food experts meet at Narberth Food Festival this month for a panel discussion on Reimagining the food heritage of Wales.

Carmarthenshire based author Carwyn Graves will be leading the debate with chef Jacqueline Anne Morgan and distillery founder James Harrison-Allen.

Author Carwyn Graves
Author Carwyn Graves (Narberth Food Festival)

Carwyn said: “Wales has a rich and varied food heritage, encompassing everything from leeks to dairy, laver to defaid [sheep]. But we have slowly lost touch with many of our recipes and dishes - and perhaps not made the most of them.

In the light of the need for more sustainable diets and a flourishing future for rural communities, we will be asking how can our half-forgotten food heritage play a part?”

Carwyn is the author of Welsh Food Stories and the bestselling Apples of Wales and was instrumental in establishing the national collection of Welsh varieties at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Passionate about culture and food, he lives in Carmarthen with his family and a growing vegetable garden and is currently writing a new book on the Welsh landscape, past and future.

Still Wild distillery founder James Harrison Allen
Still Wild distillery founder James Harrison Allen (Narberth Food Festival)

Still Wild is an award winning Pembrokeshire Distillery which specialises in using locally foraged, wild botanicals. They were the first Welsh producers of Vermouth before expanding into Seaweed Gin and other products. In addition to the panel, Still Wild founder James will give a talk about vermouth and covering plants, drinks and cocktail demonstrations.

Jacqueline Anne Morgan
Jacqueline Anne Morgan (Narberth Food Festival)

Chef and food advocate Jacqueline Ann Morgan (or Jam), of Karm’en Kafe in Carmarthen, was raised in a small fishing village and her work is inspired by the natural Welsh landscape and its heritage. As well as taking part in the panel discussion, Jacqueline will be demonstrating how to make pastry from oats and laverbread for a savoury tart, and using heritage Welsh produce such as Towy Coracle caught Sewin, cockles and marsh samphire.

Narberth Food Festival runs on Saturday, September 23 and Sunday, September 24, at the Town Moor, Narberth. Entry costs £5 each day (under 16s free). Gates open 10am. 

The event includes chef demonstrations, talks, tastings, live music, bar, street food, 50+ food stalls and more. Dogs are welcome in the outside public areas, but not the food marquees.

Two park and ride schemes will be in operation due to limited parking at the Town Moor.

For more information see the festival website www.narberthfoodfestival.com.