North East foodies are preparing for the Bishop Auckland and Tynemouth Food Festivals
PUBLISHED: 15:09 16 April 2012 | UPDATED: 21:16 20 February 2013
Lovers of fine food are gearing up for the Bishop Auckland and Tynemouth Food Festivals which will showcase the best of the North East's produce and celebrate the region's gastronomic heritage, writes Sue Campbell
Tynemouth Food Festival, May 12th and 13th
Food tastes best when it is shared. Theres nothing more satisfying than eating with friends, food and drink combined with laughter, chatter and good spirit much better than a takeaway on your knee in front of the television.
One village in the North East is set to roll out that community spirit in the first Tynemouth Food Festival, taking place on May 12th and 13th. Residents, businesses and schools will come together for the weekend with a host of mouth-watering free events at this lovely spot at the mouth of the Tyne.
About 40 artisan food and drink producers will set out their stalls around the small village green, while the cream of the regions culinary talent will appear in a state-of-the-art mobile kitchen.
Among top names in the demo kitchen marquee sponsored by The Co-operative Membership are Graeme Cuthell of Irvins Brasserie on North Shields Fish Quay; BBC Masterchef: The Professionals finalist John Calton of the Harbour Lights in South Shields; Adam Hegarty of Six Restaurant at the Baltic in Gateshead; Dominic Bradshaw of Tynemouths Grand Hotel, and former North East Chef of the Year and restaurateur David Kennedy of David Kennedys Food Social at the Biscuit Factory commercial Art Gallery in Newcastle and the newly opened David Kennedys River Caf on North Shields Fish Quay.
And theres a real ale event organised by the Cumberland Arms on Tynemouth Front Street from May 10th to 17th, with at least 50 different regional and award-winning beers on tap, including local favourites from Mordue and the Allendale Brewing Company.
Gareth James Chocolatiers, also on Front Street, are hoping to set taste buds tingling with a mass chocolate sampling session, and Gareth Mellor, who runs the business, will also be appearing in the demo kitchen. Also appearing is artisan break maker Ann Cudworth of North Shields-based Dough Works, who also runs hands-on baking workshops.
The Priory Pub will be holding real ale and food matching sessions, with the Deli Around the Corner, which specialises in local produce, doing wine and cheese tastings.
Meanwhile, Priory Caf on Percy Park Road will be celebrating the art of home baking with a large range of cup-cakes, French patisseries and biscuits and local schoolchildren are being invited to get involved in a cake decorating competition, with winning entries being displayed in shop windows.
And the Grand Hotel on Tynemouth seafront has organised a Junior MasterChef-style contest aimed at local secondary school pupils with the winner having the chance to recreate their dish alongside one of the celebrity chefs on the demo kitchen.
The contest will have a fishy theme, with the victorious dish also appearing on the Grand Hotels dining menu on May 12th and 13th.
Thousands are expected to attend the event and Sally Craigen, chair of the organising committee who runs the Martineau Guest House in Tynemouth, said: It is fantastic that the village has embraced this event so wholeheartedly and that businesses, schools and residents have come on board to support not just the food festival but local producers too.
This food festival is our way of bringing the community of Tynemouth together while welcoming visitors to join in the fun.
This is a great opportunity to use the three Cs culture, community and cuisine to bring people together for two days in support of the local economy.
* Tynemouth Food Festival is free to attend and will take place on May 12th and 13th from 9am-4pm at locations across the village.
For more information log on to www.tynemouthfoodfestival.co.uk.
Bishop Auckland Fine Food Festival - April 21st
Foodies will flock to Bishop Auckland this month for the towns annual food festival which will showcase the best producers from the region and further afield.
The Fabulous Baker Brothers, who have inspired people to get into the kitchen with their Channel 4 show, will be headlining the free event. And among the other food heroes at the festival, on Saturday April 21st, will be producers of artisan breads, organic wines and award winning cheese, seafood and game from across the North East.
Among the fabulous array of stalls to tempt visitors taste buds will be members of TasteDurham - a national standard awarded by Visit England to businesses based on their menu, quality of food and use of locally sourced produce - who are part of the festival for the very first time this year. Their stalls will include Oldfields, who offer delicious locally sourced gourmet prepared meals, Caf 1618 with their Teesdale Lead Miners Pasty, Broom House Farm Shop, who will be offering a selection of locally reared meats, and Knitsley Farm Shop, with their selection of hampers packed with local treats.
They will be joined by a regional market offering a taste of Wales and visitors to the festival will also be able to see cookery demonstrations and be entertained by performers from some of Durhams other big festivals, including Streets of...Summer Festival and Brass.
About 35,000 people attended the festival last year and organisers are hoping for even more people this year.
The Fabulous Baker Brothers will give a live cookery demonstration from the Durham Marriott Celebrity Kitchen and will also be signing copies of their new book and answering questions from audience members.
Kate James, the festivals and events manager at Visit County Durham, said: It is really exciting that The Fabulous Baker Brothers will be headlining this years food festival. The mouth-watering selection of the finest regional and national produce alongside a quality mix of excellent entertainment is sure to delight visitors.
A free park and ride system will ferry festival-goers to the event, which will run from 9.30am-4.30pm at Auckland Castle and Bishop Auckland Market Place.
For more information and regular updates go to www.bishopaucklandfoodfestival.co.uk.
Tickets for the Fabulous Baker Boys event, which take place from 10.30am-1pm, cost 3 and are available from the Durham Visitor Contact Centre on 03000 262626.