Tynemouth Village Food Festival Will Give a True Taste of the North

04May12

Thousands of food lovers are expected to descend on a picturesque seaside village next weekend (May 12-13) for what promises to be a spectacular celebration of the region’s culinary heritage.

Tynemouth will be transformed into a foodie haven as more than 40 local producers gather alongside a host of celebrity North East chefs on May 12-13.

Former North East Chef of the Year David Kennedy will be one of the chefs demonstrating at the first Tynemouth Food Festival

Former North East Chef of the Year David Kennedy will be one of the chefs demonstrating at the first Tynemouth Food Festival

The gastronomic extravaganza will also see a beer festival, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, school cooking competitions and a host of other exciting gourmet activities springing up for the two day village-wide event.

Nine months in the planning, the first ever Tynemouth Food Festival has captured both the imagination of artisan producers and the public.

Stallholders signed up in record time for the free to attend festival centred round the village’s Queen Victoria Park and King’s School, with scores adding their name to a reserve list in the hope of securing a last minute pitch.

And a three-night pop-up restaurant between May 9-11 organised as an appetizer to the main course by former North East Chef of the Year David Kennedy, sold out within a matter of days.

Places were limited to 80 diners a night at David K @ Café K at King’s School. But such was the interest in the pop-up showcasing the seasonal, locally sourced menu on offer at David Kennedy’s acclaimed Food Social restaurant in Newcastle that extra tickets have had to be issued.

Regional chefs – including Graeme Cuthell of Irvins on North Shields Fish Quay; MasterChef: The Professionals finalist John Calton of the Harbour Lights, South Shields; Kevin Mulraney of Tynemouth’s Grand Hotel; Mary Wilkins of the New Exchange Brasserie and Bar in North Shields, and Simon Walsh of Close House Hotel’s No 19 restaurant in Northumberland – have also given their time for free to host two days of cookery demonstrations in regional food group Taste North East’s state of the art mobile kitchen.

Ann Cudworth of Dough Works

Ann Cudworth of Dough Works

Organised by the Tynemouth Business Forum with the support of the Co-operative Membership, North Tyneside Council, fish and chip shop supplier Henry Colbeck and village businesses Fezziwigs, Priory Art, Brannen and Partners and King’s School, it had originally been intended to hold a simple farmers’ market.

But residents and businesses have been queuing up to ensure the inaugural Tynemouth Food Festival is a true celebration of the finest produce and culinary talent on offer anywhere in the UK.

Sally Craigen, chairman of both the Tynemouth Business Forum and the food festival committee, said: “The event has captured everyone’s imagination and from small beginnings has swelled into a truly village wide affair with residents and businesses and young and old alike all joining forces to pay homage to this region’s superb home grown and home produced food and drink.

“We have been bowled over by the response. It is fair to say that at the beginning we never envisaged anything as spectacular as the weekend we now have planned.

“But, once word got out it seemed to take wings.

“We have gone from a glorified farmers’ market to a two day foodie feast with more than 40 stallholders and the added attractions of the chef demos, a week long beer festival taking place in the village’s Cumberland Arms pub, David Kennedy’s pop-up restaurant, a school cake decorating competition, a Junior MasterChef-style contest organised by the Grand Hotel, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and a host of other activities from cocktail making sessions to wine tastings.

“But it shows the support there is out there for local food and drink producers.

“Our aim has always been to encourage people to support local, put their money back into the regional economy and discover what a fantastic place Tynemouth and this part of the North East coast is.

“The first Tynemouth Food Festival promises to be a fabulous weekend of gastronomic delights for all and we look forward to welcoming as many people as possible to the village.”

Among the producers taking part are the Northumberland Cheese Company, Doddington Dairy, the Glass Slipper Bakery, Riley’s Fish Shack, Kenspeckle Confectionary and Moorhouse Farm.

Some, like butchers TR Johnson from Wooler and Tynemouth’s Deli Around the Corner, are attending their first ever food festival.

Meanwhile, the Cumberland Arms’ Beer Festival will feature around 50 seasonal real ales – many of them never before seen in the North East.

David Irving at The Cumberland Arms

David Irving at The Cumberland Arms

They will join popular local names like Mordue and the Allendale Brewery in the week-long celebration of the ‘noble hop’ running between May10-17.

Landlord David Irving said: “We’re going to feature a variety of seasonal beers for the festival. Some of these are only available for three or four weeks of the year and many will never have been seen in the North East before.

“I wanted to create something special to mark the first Tynemouth Food Festival, and with the broad selection of beers and real ales we will have on offer, I believe it will be a memorable occasion. After all, real ale and high quality food go hand-in-hand.”

Media Enquiries

For more information, photos or to arrange interviews please call Jane Hall of Smart Cookie Media on 07880 923 507

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