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A new festival for the area not far from Newcastle Eats home, Tynemouth. The little village is busting with some smaller producers and delis but has not seen any foodie specific events for a long time.

The inaugural food festival takes place over this coming weekend 12-13 May and features all the usual festival faces – you’ve guessed it, Spicy Monkey, old favourites New Zealand Pie Company, and Doddington Dairy to name a few, as well as a few smaller (but no less greater!) producers.

tynemouth food festival via flickr

There’s also a few fringe events dotted around Tynemouth itself, including a beer festival, junior chef competition, and a demo kitchen featuring some of the region’s best chefs – of which our picks are Gareth Mellor (2pm, Saturday) and Adam Hegarty/Rhian Craddock (2-4pm, Sunday). Also featuring is a popup restaurant by David Kennedy – sure to be serving something amazing (if you can get tickets – mostly sold out!)

Another great weekend for the region this spring/summer – we will certainly be there and hopefully have some tasty photos following the event, and of course, wish it great success.

Hope to see you all there supporting a new local event!

– PR –

April 26, 2012 – Village Spirit Toasted at Community Food Festival

A seaside community is pulling together to show the world it knows a thing or two about good food.

Residents and businesses in Tynemouth have joined forces to hold the village’s first food fair.

And the free weekend event on May 12-13 promises to be a gastronomic extravaganza with food and drink stalls aplenty, celebrity chef demos, a three night pop-up restaurant, a beer festival, school cooking competitions and a host of other exciting activities planned.

Centred round the small village green known locally as Queen Victoria Park, more than 40 producers are expected to set out their stalls at the inaugural Tynemouth Food Festival.

Epicureans are being invited to stock up on everything from award winning pies and pastries to cakes, Northumbrian meats and cheeses, ice cream, bread, chocolates, vegetables, preserves and tempting brews. Some of the vendors will undoubtedly need to hire something like mobile freezer trailers in order to store their food and keep it fresh for the festival-goers.

Among the producers taking part at the mouth-watering celebration of the region’s food heritage will be Moorhouse Farm Shop, the Hot Stuff Chilli Company, JR Jams, Kenspeckle Northumbrian Confectionary and the New Zealand Gourmet Pie Company.

Joining them will be the cream of the North East’s culinary talent who will be turning up the heat in a state-of-the-art mobile kitchen.

Festival-goers will be able to pull up a chair in the demo kitchen marquee – sponsored by The Co-operative Membership – and watch the action live on plasma television screens as a dozen well known chefs rustle up a selection of delectable locally sourced and seasonal dishes over the course of the two days.

Among the top names taking part will be Graeme Cuthell of Irvins on the Fish Quay; Adam Hegarty of Six Restaurant at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead; Simon Walsh of No 19 at the Close House Hotel at Heddon-on-the-Wall and BBC Masterchef: The Professionals finalist John Calton of the Harbour Lights in South Shields.

Former North East Chef of the Year and restaurateur David Kennedy will also be wowing the crowds with his kitchen prowess – fresh from running his first ever pop-up restaurant.

David K @ Café K will be the appetizer to the main Tynemouth Food Festival event. Running between May 9-11 at King’s School in the village, opening night will feature a six-course Northumbrian Tapas meal, followed on May 10 by a spring menu and ending with a five-course taster experience on the Friday.

Places have been limited to just 80 diners a night with tickets on sale from shops in Tynemouth as well as David Kennedy’s own Food Social and River Café restaurants in Newcastle and on North Shields Fish Quay.

David K @ Café K, the fast-paced chefs’ demos and the artisan stalls are just three of the tantalisingly tasty food and drink events that will be taking place across Tynemouth.

Visitors will be able to whet their whistle at a real ale event organised by the Cumberland Arms on Tynemouth Front Street between May 10-17. Up to 50 different regional and award-winning beers – many of them never before seen in the North East – will join popular local names such as Mordue and the Allendale Brewery at the week-long celebration of the ‘noble hop.’

Beer and food matching sessions are planned for The Priory Pub, also on Front Street, while the Deli Around the Corner, which specialises in local produce, will be putting on wine and cheese tastings.

Priory Café on Percy Park Road will be celebrating home baking with a large range of cup-cakes, French patisseries and biscuits on the menu over the weekend with recipes available for customers to take away.

Meanwhile, the Dodgy Clutch Theatre Company with the help of the Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit will be inviting local children to attend a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with music, mayhem and lots of magic promised.

Gareth James Chocolatier is hoping to set people’s taste buds salivating with a mass chocolate sampling session. It will be a chance to explore all the delicious flavours of one of the world’s favourite foods as well as discover more about why chocolate makes us feel so happy.

Gareth Mellor, who runs the business, will also be appearing on the demo kitchen over the course of the weekend, along with artisan break maker Ann Cudworth of North Shields-based Dough Works, who also runs hands-on baking workshops.

Local schoolchildren are being invited to get involved in a cake decorating competition with winning entries being displayed in shop windows throughout the village for the duration of the festival.

And the Grand Hotel on Tynemouth seafront is organising a Junior MasterChef-style contest aimed at local secondary school pupils with the winner having the chance to recreate their dish alongside one of the celebrity chefs on the demo kitchen.

The contest will have a fishy theme in keeping with Tynemouth’s seaside location, with the victorious dish also appearing on the Grand Hotel’s dining menu on May 12-13.

The food festival has been organised by the Tynemouth Business Forum and is sponsored by the Co-operative Membership, village businesses Priory Art, Fezziwigs and Brannen & Partners with help from North Tyneside Council, King’s School and Henry Colbeck.

It is expected to attract thousands of extra visitors drawn in by the tasty culinary treats on offer and the live chef demos.

Sally Craigen, chair of the TBF and also the food festival organising committee who runs the Martineau Guest House in Tynemouth, said: “Tynemouth Food Festival aims to show just how much the North has become a fantastic food and drink hotspot. The area has such a lot to offer and there is such diversity.

“We want to play our part in helping introduce people to the abundance of great food and drink that is grown, produced and served right here in the region and help dispel the myth that the North has nothing to offer in the way of culinary excellence.

“Nothing could be further from the truth.

“The food festival will be a one-stop shop for local produce and it will showcase just how diverse the food and drink offer is across the region. Our message to everyone is come along, enjoy the occasion and being in Tynemouth, and most of all enjoy the food.”

Sally added: “It is fantastic that the village has embraced this event so wholeheartedly and that businesses, schools and residents have come on board to support not just the food festival but local producers too.

“Food is essential to everyone’s existence, not just for our survival but in the way it brings individuals, families and communities together.

“Tynemouth is full of wonderful restaurants and cafes run by very talented local people. This food festival is our way of bringing the community of Tynemouth together while at the same time welcoming visitors to join in the fun.”

Tynemouth Food Festival is free to attend and will take place on May 12-13 between 9am-4pm at locations across the village. For more information and to keep up-to-date with all the latest news go to or

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