Food event draws hundreds

The exhibitor tent at the Universal Cookery and Food Festival.

The exhibitor tent at the Universal Cookery and Food Festival.

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Hundreds of foodies travelled into the Northumberland countryside as some of the biggest names in catering showed their skills at the Universal Cookery and Food Festival.

The event took place at Vallum Farm, near Matfen, on September 23, drawing more than 400 people from all aspects of the food trade.

The event is a great way to bring people from every level of the food industry together.

Lee Maycock, Event Director

There were presentations by top chefs such as Sat Bains, Kenny Atkinson and Terry Laybourne, a farmers’ market with more than 50 local and national exhibitors, a ‘feather and fur’ demonstration and a free barbecue and beer to close the event.

It is the first time the annual festival, now in its fourth year and run by the Craft Guild of Chefs, has been to the North East.

Event Director Lee Maycock said: “The North East has a wealth of food producers and suppliers, along with some highly experienced chefs.

“The event is a great way to bring people from every level of the food industry together and provide a platform for local talent and industry experts to connect and share their innovative ideas, inspiration and expertise.

“It is a truly creative event that gives suppliers, local producers and retailers the opportunity to showcase what they do, and the event keeps getting bigger and better every year.”

The festival stage saw Sat Bains, chef-patron of Restaurant Sat Bains, give an honest appraisal of what it takes to achieve a coveted Michelin star, Kenny Atkinson demonstrate his skills, and Newcastle-born Terry Laybourne, owner of 21 Hospitality Group, talk about his career.

He was joined by The Ritz Executive Chef John Williams and Nigel Haworth and Craig Bancroft of Northcote Manor, while Westminster Kingsway Chef Lecturer Jose Souto demonstrated skinning and butchering.

Exhibitors included Marlish Water, Northumberland Cheese Company, Olivia’s Artisan Bakery and Northumberland Sausage Company.