THOUSANDS of food fans flocked to Flintshire over the weekend for the county town’s annual culinary festival.

The sixth Mold Food and Drink Festival drew crowds who came to see exhibitors at more than 70 stands as well as the celebrity chefs, live entertainment and interactive workshops.

John Les Tomos, chairman of the organising committee, declared the event a phenomenal success and said it was down to the co-operation and support of those involved, including volunteers, Mold Town Council and Flintshire Council.

“People have come from all over Britain,” he said. “A group of 20 people have come from London specifically to stay here. Every hotel in the area is booked up.”

He said the site on New Street Car Park now had electricity for the first time, a facility others wanting to host events in the town could benefit from in the future.

Celebrating the best in food and drink in and around Flintshire the festival saw visitors decorating cup cakes, tasting cheese and finding out more about local businesses selling award winning products.

The Flint and Vale of Clwyd Beekepers Association appeared at the event for the first time and enticed both young and old with a live bee demonstration, a honey tasting zone and honey competition.

Association member Kipper Davies said: “We’ve been very busy, it’s been absolutely excellent.”

The Mold Women’s Institute stand attracted 56 entries for a Best of Welsh Bake-off which aimed to find the tastiest bara brith made by home bakers.

“We’ve had entries from as far away as Bangor and even an entry from Rose Street School in Ruthin,” said Gwladys Williams, a Mold WI member.

“It’s the first year we’ve had a stand here so we’re hoping we can return in future years. We’ve had a lot of interest today which has been of benefit, especially from young mums who we are trying to attract to join.”

Many of the exhibitors found their products were so popular they sold out on Saturday and had to produce more for Sunday’s visitors.

Ann Busby, owner of Simply Relish which had a stall in the Celyn Farmers Market tent, said: “It’s been phenomenal, it really has. We’ve sold out of a lot of things. I’ll definitely come back next year. I’ve been amazed by the amount of people who have come.”

The weekend also saw a trio of celebrity chefs take to the stage to give cookery demonstrations. Festival favourites Graham Tinsley and Brian Mellor entertained the crowds on Saturday while Michelin starred chef and television personality Jean-Christophe Novelli wowed the audience in the cookery theatre on Sunday.

As well as tips from the experts the event also saw Shane Anthony from the Days Hotel crowned the Flintshire Chef of the Year 2011.

The festival crowds were also entertained by live music from a wide range of artists including Mold Town Band, Hotfoot Jazzmen, The Breaks and Linda Campbell.