BUDDING Jamie Olivers and aspiring Heston Blumenthals will be aiming to find the recipe for culinary success at two special events which come as the perfect appetiser to the Hamper Llangollen food festival.

On Tuesday, October 15, over 130 youngsters from five schools in and around Llangollen will be flocking to the town’s International Pavilion to take part in Hamper Plant Llangollen, which is a junior curtain-raiser to the main festival due to be staged at the same venue on Saturday and Saturday, October 19 and 20.

And the following day, Wednesday, October 16, top experts from the Food Technology Centre at Coleg Menai on Angelsey will be at Llangollen’s Ysgol Dinas Bran to work with catering students on creating a tasty new product for the booming food and drink industry.

A host of young food fans from five primary schools – Ysgol y Gwernant and Ysgol Bryn Collen in Llangollen, Ysgol Dyffryn Ial in Llandegla, Ysgol Caerdrewyn in Corwen and Ysgol Carrog in Carrgog – will be heading for the world-famous Llangollen International Pavilion on October 15 to take part in Hamper Plant – `plant’ means children in Welsh.

The event, which runs from 9.45am-2.30pm, has been masterminded by the Healthy Schools team at Denbighshire County Council whose co-ordinator Paula Roberts explained what’s on the menu for the day.

She said: “This is an annual event which we’ve been staging in advance of Hamper Llangollen for the past five years and it always goes down a treat with the children, many of whom have a real love and feeling for food.

“The day will take the form of a series of workshops around through which the children, split into five groups of about 25-30, will rotate throughout the morning and early afternoon.

“We’ll have five workshops providers, including North East Wales Dance, who will be creating a dance around the themes of food groups such as carbohydrates and protein; the active young people officer and students from Ysgol Dinas Bran, who will have a presentation on food and sport and the importance of maintain a healthy lifestyle; and Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales – who will demonstrate the importance of a balanced diet by cooking healthy stir-fry meals.

“The other workshops are being run by local food expert Celia Williams, who will be talking about where our food comes from with the concept of Food Miles and also gardening, and my own Healthy schools team who will be on hand with community dieticians to talk about the effects of sugar and energy drinks.

“At that workshop, in which I’ll be involved myself, we’ll be coming up with our own healthy drinks and we’ll be using a specially designed smoothie maker, which is powered by someone riding a bike, so we’ll no doubt get one of our young food delegates to provide pedal it for us.”

Paula said that in advance of Hamper Plant, she and her team had organised a food-themed promotional competition for children at the five schools involved on the day.

“The aim was the get the children to design a healthy meal using local produce,” she explained.

“The winner will have the chance of cooking a meal on stage at Hamper Llangollen with local celebrity cook, Dai Chef.

“Another part of the prize will be having the meal produced as the dish of the day for everyone having dinners at the winner’s school.”

The day after Hamper Plant at Llangollen Pavilion, two team members from the Food Technology Centre at Coleg Menai in Anglesey will be at the town’s Ysgol Dinas Bran.

The centre, at Llangefni, has a tasty reputation for helping companies large and small in the food and drinks industry with the development of new products.

Two of its technologists – Steven Williams and Angharad Jones – will be working with the school’s Year 10 students to create a new, healthy flavoured soft drink.

Paul Roberts, a business developer with the centre, said: “Our technologists will be with about 20 students for the whole day coming up with a new drink, which is an added value product.

“At the centre we work with businesses ranging from large food factories to small home-based enterprises on new food and drinks lines and Steven and Angharad will demonstrating exactly how we do this to the students.

“They will be taken through the entire process, including the new drink’s initial creation, finding a name for it, labelling and finding the right brand image.

“In fact, they’ll do everything right up to the point where it’s ready to go on to the market although, of course, it won’t actually do that.

“However, the new drink will have to end up suitable, legal and safe, as we say.”

Paul added: “The centre works regularly with schools making such products as chocolate, soup and ice cream at workshop sessions.

“They usually come to in to the Llangefni centre but we see the run-up to Hamper Llangollen, which is a fantastic show, as the perfect opportunity to go out and visit a local school like Dinas Bran.

“We hope that what our technologists are able to show them about working on a new product from scratch will perhaps whet their appetites for making a career in the food industry.

“The centre will have its own stand at Hamper Llangollen, and we invite everyone to come along and meet us there.”

Cadwyn Clwyd’s contribution to Hamper Llangollen comes 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.

Cadwyn Clwyd Agri-food Officer Robert Price said: “One of the main aims of the festival is to provide a show window for our wonderful array of food producers.

“These special events for local youngsters are an important appetiser for the main events because these culinary whizzkids are our foodies of future.

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

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