Celebrity chefs head to County Durham for Bishop Auckland food festival

Last year the festival attracted around 30,000 visitors. Credit: Durham County Council

Bishop Auckland Food Festival returns to the town this weekend, bringing celebrity chefs,street food traders, live entertainment and fun family activities.

The festival is taking over the town’s marketplace from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 22 April and 10am to 4pm on Sunday 23 April.

Around 140 traders are expected at the festival, with five celebrity chefs treating the audience to cooking demonstrations.

Last year saw a record 30,000 visitors, and Durham County Council is encouraging people to to travel by public transport or use the park and ride service as roads and car parks are expected to be busy.

Saturday’s fun kicks off with 2022 Great British Bake Off star, Janusz Domagala, who will be cooking at 10:30am and 1:30pm.

He’s followed by bestselling cookery writer and TV chef, Rachel Allen, at 11:30am and 2:30pm, with ITV This Morning’s Phil Vickery appearing at 12:30pm and 3:30pm.

Getting Sunday’s demonstrations started is last year’s Bake Off runner-up, Sandro Farmhouse, who takes to the cookery stage at 10:30am and 1:10pm.

MasterChef 2018 winner, Kenny Tutt, will follow at 11:20am and 2pm, with Janusz returning for a second day of cooking at 12:20pm and 3pm.

There’ll also be live music, family-friendly crafts, singing waiters, and chefs on stilts.

The Auckland Project is hosting a children’s dinner party at No.43 in the Market Place, plus Spanish Gallery-inspired art activities in Auckland Tower.

An accessible park and ride service shuttling visitors between Bishop Auckland College and the town centre will be in operation throughout.

Buses will run from 9:30am on Saturday and Sunday, with the last return bus running at 5:30pm on Saturday and 4:30pm on Sunday.

Return tickets cost £2 for those aged 16 and over and 50p for children aged five to 15, while under fives travel free.

Town centre car parks will be open but may be busy and some town centre roads will beclosed for the event.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “Festival weekend is upon us and we’re fully expecting a great turn out.

“The festival has established itself as a firm favourite in our annual events calendar, and rightly so. It brings the town to life, bringing people together to have fun, try some sensational food and drink, and enjoy a great family day out.

“We’ve got celebrity chefs showing off their skills and cooking up all kinds of mouth-watering dishes. And we’ve got a packed programme of family activities andentertainment that’ll bring a smile to people’s faces.

“A huge amount of hard work goes into organising events like this and the many otherswe host. We’re really looking forward to welcoming everybody to Bishop Auckland thisweekend.”

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