A round up of food news from across the North East - August

PUBLISHED: 12:26 29 July 2011 | UPDATED: 19:47 20 February 2013

James Lawson

James Lawson

The North East is a larder of fine food and drink. Side Dishes brings together in bite-size morsels a selection of food-related news and events from around the region. Compiled by Andrew Smith

All in a midsummers day

A Newcastle restaurant has marked one of the longest days of the year with two medieval events to enlighten local schoolchildren and adults about this notable era.

Blackfriars Restaurant, established in 1239 as a Dominican friary, hosted an educational event for children from Gosforth Central Middle School, who were told about the medieval
period, the Dominican friars and the food they ate.

This led on to a medieval Summer Solstice banquet in the evening for paying guests, comprising a multi-course banquet with entertainment and accompanied by flagons of ale and fine wine.

Contact Blackfriars Restaurant, on 0191 261 5945.

Charity appoints new chef

A North East charity has appointed a new chef to head up its garden centre restaurant.
Former Navy chef James Lawson, joins Caf Azure, part of Azure Garden Centre in Cramlington, Northumberland.

Owners Azure Charitable Enterprises currently provides employment for around 60 people with disabilities across the its companies.

Keeping it in the family

One of Northumberlands best-known Indian restaurants has been taken over by the son of its first and highly popular owner.

Nahil Raja has now officially taken over Diwan-E-Am in Hexham, following in the footsteps of his father Dewan, who founded and ran the restaurant very successfully between 1983 and 2005.

My father is retired but he has been supporting me in rebuilding Diwan-E-Ams reputation and we are proud to be serving unique dishes created by him from his own secret spice blends, said Nahil.

Diwan-E-Am, can be contacted on 01434 606 575.

Recruits strike a pose for Canadian gastro bar

A new gastro bar in Newcastle sent two of its new recruits to Canada to take part in an exclusive photo shoot for its annual calendar.

Shark Club gastro bar, an award-winning Canadian chain, recruited over 100 staff in the region in June. Ashley Simmons, 24, from Gateshead and Eve Hodgers, 21, from Peterlee, took a nine-day trip to Calgary earlier this month, courtesy of Shark Club. The girls received all-expenses-paid flights, accommodation, a full professional makeover and a photo shoot.

Their trip coincided with the Royal visit of Prince William and Kate to Calgary during their Canadian tour.

The Shark Club, which is located on the ground floor of the Sandman Signature Hotel opposite St James' Park, opens in Newcastle late this summer.

New tastes of Sardinia

Sabatini, at Newcastle Quayside, which celebrated its 18th birthday earlier this year, has revamped its menu to include a greater range of authentic Sardinian dishes in honour of its owner, Fabrizio Saba, who was born and raised on the Mediterranean island.

The new menu, which was developed by Fabrizio and his team of experienced chefs, now includes an extended selection of bruschetta and homemade breads, hot and cold antipasti and a variety of main course options, including meat and fish dishes, pizza and pasta.

Music and food produce a tasty offering

A Northumberland singer is hoping to prove music really is the food of love after landing a contract to perform at a regional restaurant.

Pete Brown from Blyth, who also works full-time as a Payments Officer at Newcastle University Students Union, is now appearing fortnightly at Fratelli Italian restaurant, Ponteland, after impressing the owners with his wide repertoire and classic voice.

Paul Bernardelli, who co-owns Fratelli with brother-in-law Fabrizio Saba, said: Pete is a fantastic vocalist and really gives the restaurant a unique atmosphere whenever he performs.
Contact Fratelli on 01661 872195.

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