Celebrity chefs wow thousands with culinary skills at Seaham Food Festival

Celebrity chefs have been performing cooking demonstrations to thousands of visitors at the Seaham Food Festival in County Durham.

Chefs including Sunderland born Stacie Stewart, Saturday Kitchen star Matt Tebbutt and French celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli attended the event, which is expected to boost the local economy whilst also boosting County Durham's cultural offer.

Stacie Stewart, who took to the cooking stage first, told ITV News Tyne Tees: "I’m absolutely buzzing to be back in the North East, because I actually live in Brighton, so to come home, for the sun to be shining, to see so many people who’ve supported me on my way up is really great. I’m over the moon to be here."

Chef cooks by the sea at the Seaham Food Festival Credit: ITV News

The Saturday Kitchen presenter, Matt Tebbutt, said performing live in front of such a large audience outdoors is very different to cooking in the studio.

He added: "It’s lovely. People are out. People are having a nice time. Food festivals are great and they’ve been off the cards obviously for a long time, so it’s just nice to be back and, you know, amongst people really."

Stacie Stewart demo at the festival Credit: ITV News

French Michelin Star Chef, Jean-Christophe Novelli, said he really loved the seaside and "obviously fish" based recipes, so was "delighted" to be in Seaham at the festival.

He said: "This is the typical English seaside that you expect and it’s wonderful, great atmosphere, beautiful weather."

Spicy meat on offer at Seaham Food Festival Credit: ITV News

Durham County Council recently missed out on being designated as the UK City of Culture for 2025, but its leader told ITV News the county will continue to push what it has to offer culturally, including hosting such prestigious events as the Seaham Food Festival.

Cllr Amanda Hopgood said: "We very much expect to be a County of Culture moving forwards and lots of the things that were highlighted as really good events, we still fully intend to put on."