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Celebrity chefs added to virtual food festival line-up

Published December 04, 2020 1.19pm

More celebrity chefs have been added to the virtual Durham Festival of Food and Drink, an online event we commissioned to support local traders that would have usually appeared at our popular food and drink festivals.

Rosemary DFOFD

Rosemary Shrager has joined the line-up of the Durham Festival of Food and Drink

Vivacious chef Rosemary Shrager, who has been a long-time supporter of the Bishop Auckland Food Festival, has pledged her support by creating a fantastic Christmas recipe for Turkey En Croute demonstrated by the great lady herself.

She is always thrilled to see the producers on offer. Rosemary said: "What a showcase for all the wonderful produce down here in County Durham. What a showcase. It's brilliant!"

Rosemary endeared herself to the nation when she took part in 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here' where she proved she could cook just about anything, anywhere. 

Her latest programmes include The Big Family Cooking Showdown and the very successful The Real Marigold Hotel.

She is joined by her former Chopping Block co-host, Great British Bake Off winner and currently resident chef on Channel 4's Steph's Packed Lunch, John Whaite.

John has been cooking up a storm during lockdown on his social media channels and has recorded a demonstration of him cooking a delicious Gingerbread and Damson Almond Tart.

John won the third season of Bake Off and has not stopped since. As well as writing five recipe books and appearing at Festivals across the UK, John has also launched his own cookery school John Whaite's Kitchen in rural Lancashire.

Exciting line-up

Our final celebrity chef is Kenny Tutt, who was crowned BBC's MasterChef Champion in 2018. A former bank manager, Kenny opened his first restaurant and cookery school, PITCH in his hometown of Worthing last year and most recently launched his street food concept, Tutt's Truck, on Worthing seafront.

Live until Thursday 24 December, Durham Festival of Food and Drink celebrates all the excellent food producers and drinks companies that exhibit at the Bishop Auckland and Seaham events. They are profiled on the event website with some traders providing behind the scenes videos of their business to give an insight into the changes they have made and new practices that have been put in place during the pandemic in order to keep operating.

New ways to connect

Cllr Joy Allen, our Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism, said: "This year we've all had to spend a lot more time at home and I know many of us have turned to cooking and baking as a source of comfort and entertainment. By adding to our line-up of celebrity chefs we can serve up even more inspiration for home cooks in County Durham and beyond, while showcasing the fantastic food and drink producers we have here in the North East.

"The sector has been hit incredibly hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the Durham Festival of Food and Drink aims to provide alternative ways for these businesses to connect with customers, new and old, during these challenging times."

Get involved

Along with recipes, advice and demos from the celebrity chefs, there are exclusive festival offers and discounts from traders on a wide range of food and drink to help encourage people to support and buy from their local independents during the festive season, especially with the lack of Christmas markets.

Residents can also get involved by submitting their own recipes to the Community Recipe Book. This virtual resource, located on the festival website, will be a chance to share favourite family recipes and dinner party secrets that never fail to impress.

The Durham Festival of Food and Drink traders are also planning ahead for the return of the region's 2021 event calendar and its popular live food festivals.