Put the date in your diaries, the Bishop Auckland Food Festival is back for another year from 13-14th April, and is a great day out for any food and drink lovers.
Last year, the festival attracted more than 27,000 people, resulting in record sales for traders and boosting the profits of local businesses. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and organisers are drawing on visitors’ comments to ensure the festival is bigger and better in 2019.
Festival-goers can look forward to even more stalls selling a tempting array of local produce and delicious dishes from all over the world. There will also be live music, children’s entertainment and a varied programme of workshops and live cookery demonstrations, with the full line-up to be revealed within the next few weeks.
The free festival is part of #Durham19, a campaign showcasing the many sporting and cultural events taking part in the county this year.
Cllr Ossie Johnson, Cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural affairs at Durham County Council, said: “Bishop Auckland Food Festival is a wonderful day out for all of the family and an opportunity to sample the finest fare our region has to offer.
“However, the benefits it brings to County Durham do not stop there. It attracts thousands of people into our region, generating vital income and strengthening our reputation as a culinary destination.”
Already announced as part of the line-up for the live cookery demonstrations is MasterChef’s Gregg Wallace. Gregg will share some behind the scenes gossip while cooking up a variety of delicious dishes in Bishop Auckland Town Hall on Sunday, 14 April at 11am and 2pm.
Tickets for the demonstration cost £10 or £15 for a VIP pass, which includes priority seating and a meet and greet opportunity.
Gregg, a Londoner who started his career at Covent Garden Fruit and Veg Market, is aware of the power of markets and festivals to spark conversations about food, as well as allowing producers and suppliers to interact directly with their customers.
“I’m very much looking forward to my visit,” said Gregg. “Meeting new people, discovering their passion for food and sampling local specialities is a real treat.”
Also cooking up a storm in the live chef demonstrations are TV presenters and foodies Angellica Bell and Stefan Gates.
Angellica will be preparing dishes from her children’s recipe book, Fantastic Eats! & how to cook them, at 12.30pm and 3pm on the Saturday.
Tickets cost £5 for adults and £3 for children. There are also a limited number of VIP passes for the 12.30pm session, priced at £10 for adults and £6 for children, which include demonstration tickets and a meet and greet opportunity.
Angellica said: “I have a soft spot for the North East of England having been lucky enough to work in the region throughout my career and also taken part in the Great North Run many times. The people are always so warm and friendly and I can’t wait to share some of my family recipes from my new cookbook to help children get excited about cooking.”
Stefan has written and presented numerous food science television programmes, making him the perfect choice to lead the festival’s outreach programme. In early April, he will take hundreds of schoolchildren on a journey through the human digestive system, complete with fascinating facts and explosive experiments.
Stefan will deliver similar sessions for people of all ages at the festival at 11am and 1pm on the Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost £3.
To book tickets to see Angellica, Stefan and Gregg and to find out more about the event visit www.bishopaucklandfoodfestival.co.uk, or follow @bishfoodfest on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.