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Mold Food Festival 2011 will be biggest and best ever, say organisers

MOLD Food Festival will be bigger and better this year.

Committee chairman John Les Tomos said the showpiece event, which will be held for the sixth time in September, was getting more community groups involved every year.

This year celebrity chefs Jean-Christophe Novelli, Brian Mellor and Graham Tinsley will be demonstrating at the two-day event on New Street car park, alongside the Women’s Institute, beekeepers associations, Deeside College and a variety of local producers.

Mr Tomos said last year’s festival had received rave reviews from visitors and stallholders and brought an estimated £800,000 into the area.

But things have not always looked so good for the event.

In 2009 former chairman Greg Shankar was arrested and jailed for 15 months for defrauding the festival out of £66,000.

Mr Tomos said: “The first I knew about it was when I had a phone call from some suppliers in February 2009 saying they hadn’t been paid.

“But I think, if anything, Mold Food Festival became stronger because of what happened.

“It was amazing that some of the suppliers were owed tens of thousands of pounds but still came back that year to help us.

“For us it wasn’t really the money that mattered, it was the trust that had been broken. We had to work hard to rebuild that.”

Mr Tomos introduced a system, now being used as a model for other festivals, which made the organisation a limited company and meant all payments went through accountants.

“Since then it has gone very well,” he said.

“We are very lucky in the support we have from voluntary organisations like the Scouts, Guides, cadets, the Rotary Club and the Round Table.

Mr Tomos added: “I think they have been a strong element in the festival’s success and I think people realise we are trying to do good in our community.”

Mold Food Festival 2011 will be held on September 24 and 25. For more information visit www.moldfoodfestival.co.uk.