Town chefs urged to back Chepstow SpudFest by putting potato-based dish on menu

RESTAURANTS, cafes, bars and pubs are being urged to add their support to the first Chepstow SpudFest.

The free festival, organised by Chepstow Town Council and to be held principally in the town’s historic Drill Hall, on the riverbank and the Castle Dell, is on Saturday, October 21, from 11am to 5pm.

Food establishments in Chepstow, Bulwark and Thornwell, are being asked to become involved in the SpudFest by providing a special ‘spud’ dish to go on the menu in the days leading up the festival.

Chefs are also being encouraged to share recipes and conduct cooking demonstrations on the day in the town’s Drill Hall.

Letters from Chepstow Mayor Cllr Margaret Griffiths, outlining what’s planned and how to get involved, have been hand delivered to various eateries and pubs throughout the town.

Chepstow Deputy Mayor, Tudor Griffiths, delivering some of the letters, said: “The idea, of creating or providing a dish to celebrate the potato, appears to have been very well received by the various establishments we visited in Chepstow, Bulwark and Thornwell.

“We’ve also invited chefs to take the chance to promote their establishment and demonstrate cooking the dish on the day at the Drill Hall and also to have a spud-based recipe included in a special booklet we’re producing for the event.”

Margaret Gore, of The Palmer Centre, Cormeilles Square, Chepstow, said the popular cafe will be promoting its cheese and potato pie as part of the festival.

“The pies topped with creamy mashed potato, which are all homemade by our chefs Tracey Morgan and Jill Lane, are our best sellers.”

Exact programme details are being finalised but a range of potato-themed events are being finalised by the town council’s Chepstow SpudFest (CSF) Working Group.

The CSF is inviting groups and organisations within the town and any others with an interest and any spud-based ideas, to get involved in what could become an annual festival.

Central to the celebration of all things potato is the unique pebble sculpture, unveiled in March this year on the River Wye in Chepstow, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the creation of Wales Coast Path.

The coast path, which attracts thousands of walkers and tourists to the town each year, starts and ends on the banks of the River Wye in Chepstow.

The pebble, which some say resembles a tin-foil covered baked potato, has caught the imagination of the people of Chepstow and visitors to the ancient walled town.

Cllr. Margaret Griffiths, who is chair of the Chepstow Spud Fest Working Group, said: “Chepstow SpudFest is a perfect opportunity to build on the undeniable interest in the sculpture that has been generated since its unveiling on the river bank earlier this year. We hope that the Spudfest will help to promote the town, its culture and attractions and will boost engagement with the community.”

Among events at Chepstow SpudFest being finalised are:

  • Competitions for the champion potato, potatoes resembling famous people and characters
  • Photography and painting of potatoes
  • Children’s artwork including, potato prints, potato people, collages of potatoes
  • Cookery demonstration
  • Potato sculpture
  • Most imaginative use of a potato
  • Stalls
  • Expert talks on potatoes, growing them, their uses and cultural significance
  • Best home-grown potato competition
  • Gardener’s Question Time
  • Potato sack races in the Dell
  • Potato and spoon race
  • Fancy dress
  • A Chepstow potato trail
  • Recitation of poems and stories about potatoes as well as a poetry competition and potato related music.

For more details about Chepstow SpudFest contact Chepstow Town Clerk Lucy Allen on 01291 626370 or  email