Three more celebrity chefs confirmed for Bishop Auckland Food Festival

A BBC Saturday Kitchen presenter, an award-winning chef and a food content creator with millions of TikTok views will headline the Sunday cookery demonstration slots at this year’s Bishop Auckland Food Festival weekend.

The festival, organised by Durham County Council, pulled in an estimated 28,000 visitors last year and returns to the town on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 April.

The Saturday chefs – BOSH! duo Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, Marcus Bean, and Dan Hunter – were confirmed earlier this month.

And now the Sunday line-up has been unveiled, starting with TV presenter, author, food writer and award-winning restaurateur, Matt Tebbutt.

Matt is known to many as the presenter of BBC shows, Saturday Kitchen and Best Bites, and his Food Unwrapped show is now in its eighth series.

He has written three cookery books featuring his favourite recipes and is a regular contributor to food and travel magazines.

“I know this is a big date in the town’s calendar and I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone in Bishop,” he said.

“I love being close enough to interact with people and see their faces and how they respond to what we’re up to on stage.

“It’s a little more relaxed than Saturday Kitchen, that’s for sure!

“I’m on stage with some amazing chefs so get yourself there – you’ll get plenty of cooking inspiration.”

Matt will share Sunday’s stage with chef, author and entrepreneur, Cyrus Todiwala, a regular guest on BBC Saturday Kitchen and the James Martin Saturday Morning programme.

Cyrus founded his restaurant Café Spice Namaste, in London in the 1990s, helping reshape Britain’s then limited expectations of Indian cuisine and inspiring generations of Indian chefs.

Today, Café Spice Namaste remains the longest running Michelin BIB restaurant in the world.

He has written six cookbooks and is a staunch advocate of education and training, social responsibility, sustainability, buying British, the environment and healthy eating.

Completing Sunday’s line-up is food content creator, bestselling author and presenter, Meliz Berg.

Her first book, Meliz’s Kitchen, became an immediate Sunday Times number 1 bestseller when it was released in June 2022.

Her easy-to-follow recipes are full of addictive combinations of flavours and spices, highlighting a melting-pot of beautiful cuisines from across the Mediterranean, Balkans and Middle East.

Meliz, who has appeared on ITV This Morning and Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch, shares her unique and wholesome recipes on her ever-growing Instagram page, Meliz Cooks.

All three celebrity chefs will be wowing visitors with their mouth-watering food demonstrations on Sunday 21 April.

And they’ll be joined by crowd favourite and TV presenter Chris Bavin, who returns as host across both days.

Mike Bartley Biog Picture

Also returning is Bishop Auckland’s MasterChef contender, Mike Bartley, who will be offering a fine dining experience at Bishop Auckland Town Hall at 7pm on Saturday 20 April.

Tickets for his four-course menu, priced £42 per person, are available now from the Bishop Auckland Food Festival website.

Details of all of the food traders, family entertainment, and cookery workshops are set to be announced very soon.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “The cookery demonstrations are always a highlight and we’ve got another fantastic line-up of celebrity chef guests to look forward to.

“Having these well-known names and faces join us helps us pull in visitors from far and wide, which is great for the town. There’s lots more to look forward to, and we’ll be sharing full details of the traders, workshops and entertainment in the coming weeks.

“To make sure you don’t miss out on festival updates, stay tuned to the festival website or follow its social media feeds. We’re already looking forward to welcoming people once more.”

Bishop Auckland Food Festival is one of the many cultural events taking place in County Durham this year, cementing Durham’s position as the ‘culture county’ and demonstrating the county council’s ongoing commitment to culture-led regeneration.

This includes delivering key projects within County Durham’s shortlisted UK City of Culture bid; progressing major capital projects and raising the county’s profile as a fantastic place to live, work, visit and invest.

Bishop Auckland Food Festival is supported by Bishop Auckland Town Council and Durham County Council’s Towns & Villages programme.

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