WITH traditional food events off the agenda this summer, many food and drink producers in the Tivyside area have had to find other ways of reaching the public.

This has resulted in several ‘virtual’ food events being set up across Wales.

The virtual ‘doors’ will open at the Taste of West Wales Festival tomorrow (Saturday, August 1) and will link up with the launch of the Cardigan Food Hub at the Guildhall at the same time, which has been set up to showcase the talents of artisan producers in the Cardigan area.

Instead of the public physically entering the festival – as initially planned - through the gates of the National Botanic Garden of Wales, people will be able to enjoy the sights and sounds via the internet.

The voluntary-run event, says co-ordinator, Diana Vickers, has been born out of the need to create an alternative outlet for artisan producers.

She said: “Stallholders had already signed up for the spring festival, and when it and the summer festival was cancelled we came up with holding a virtual festival.”

The festival will run from 10am–4 pm on the Showcasing West Wales Facebook page, and Diana will act as master of ceremonies. She will guide visitors through the schedule to an inter-connecting ‘web’ of live chef demonstrations, craft workshops, and a host of producer videos and stalls.

The only stumbling block was the technical requirements of running a virtual event, which is where Cywain stepped in, a programme designed and developed by Menter a Busnes that is dedicated to developing new and existing micro-businesses in the Welsh food and drink sector.

“I have never done this sort of thing before, but Cywain has been quite amazing and instantly grasped what we’re trying to do,” added Diana.

“If this festival is successful we’d like to do more and maybe eventually keep going on a sustainable platform.

“There will be demos from local chefs Deri Reed from The Warren in Carmarthen and Alex Cook from the Pink Peppercorn. We will also be going live to Cardigan Food Hub between 1pm-3pm as it is launching the same Saturday - and by live I mean Facebook Live.”

“We will be having demos on the perfect way to make tea and how to make delicious white chocolate and blueberry ‘blondies’.

“We have Craig Evans talking about coastal foraging and talks from the Welsh Sisters Gin on their botanical gin and cheese pairings with Caws Teifi cheese and Da Mhile distillery.

“We have brief glimpses of jewellery making and how to make a scented candle and much, much more.

“In essence we are going to be bringing the Taste of West Wales Festival directly to people’s homes and celebrating all things foody, drinky, arty and crafty,” added Diana.

Go to tasteofwestwales.co.uk for more information and information all 47 stallholders at the virtual event.