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Taste of things to come

GASTRONOMIC treats galore await visitors to The Journal’s latest food and drink festival.

Taste festival 2008

GASTRONOMIC treats galore await visitors to The Journal’s latest food and drink festival.

The Taste extravaganza will be held at the Metrocentre, Gateshead on Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1.

Some 60 artisan food and drink producers and suppliers from across the region will gather at the Metrocentre Qube for what promises to be a truly gastronomic affair.

Added to the mix will be cookery demonstrations from some of the region’s finest restaurant chefs in a state-of-the-art mobile kitchen.

It’s The Journal’s fifth food and drink festival since launching its ‘buy, use, eat local’ campaign to encourage consumers, retailers, hoteliers and restaurateurs to favour the plethora of quality foodstuffs grown, reared, sown and made between the Rivers Tweed and Tees.

The event, which is a celebration of local produce, is predicted to attract tens of thousands of visitors.

Karen Carr, marketing manager at the Metrocentre, Gateshead, said: “Metrocentre wants shoppers to experience more that just a shopping centre trip when they visit and therefore organises a variety of events that appeal to a cross-section of our customers. The opportunity to promote local produce at events such as these has always been exceptionally popular.

“We want to keep as much inward investment in the region as possible and this is one of the key methods of educating our shoppers on how they can support local producers, which of course has a long-term effect on improving the economy in the region.

“The timing of the Taste event is also the start of the season to be merry!

Not only is it Hallowe’en weekend, but it’s the start of Christmas shopping, and the centre’s decorations will be on display.

“We know this will be a huge attraction offering lots of gift ideas for Christmas, and it’s a chance to see the region’s award-winning chefs in action.

“It’s the first time the Taste event has been held in a shopping centre – and we’re confident our shoppers will find it enjoyable.”

Some of the dozens of stallholders signed up so far include chilli growers Trees Can’t Dance of Coanwood; Sunny Hill Eggs of Belford; Kielder Organic Meats of Dunterley Farm; Traidcraft; Ridleys Fish and Game of Hexham and Northumberland Cheese Company of Blagdon.

Those signed up already for stints in the mobile kitchen include The Journal’s very own foodie columnist Bill Oldfield, owner of Oldfields restaurants in Newcastle and Durham.

Dan May, trees can't dance

Also appearing is food writer Maunika Gowardhan of Starters and Spice, who will be sharing her passion for contemporary Indian cuisine. And comic cookery duo, Two Ladies of a Certain Age, will be bringing their inimitable style to the demo kitchen.

The Journal editor Brian Aitken said: “Once again, it is fantastic that so many producers and chefs have come on board to help spread The Journal’s buy, use, eat local message. Now we hope the public will turn out in force at the Metrocentre to show their support for local food and drink producers.”

THE EVENT

Taste at the Metrocentre will take place Saturday, October 31, from 9am-7pm, and Sunday, November 1, 11am-5pm. Cookery demonstration slots will be between 11am and 4.30pm Saturday and 12-4pm Sunday.

For more information or to book a stand please contact Joanne Fenwick on (0191) 201-6065 or email joanne.fenwick@ncjmedia.co.uk

We only work with local artisan producers and suppliers and those who can prove they support the campaign’s ‘buy, use, eat local’ message. Only suppliers, producers and other food-related businesses and individuals who share the same goals as The Journal’s Taste North East England campaign will be allowed to participate in this event.

THE TASTE STORY

The inaugural one-day Taste Food Festival took place at the National Trust’s Gibside estate on April 26, 2008, and was a huge success with 60 independent food, beer and wine producers lining up alongside local celebrity chefs doing cookery demonstrations, including Hairy Biker Simon King.

The Journal built on the success of this for its Linden Hall Taste 2 event on August 30, 2008, attended by 100 food and drink exhibitors – making it the largest festival of its kind ever held in the North East.

More than 12,000 people came to buy and sample the food and drink, witness former Newcastle United favourite David Ginola officially launch his new wine label in the UK, watch chef demonstrations and meet Hairy Bikers, Si King and Dave Myers.

Taste on the Tyne was another well- attended and successful one-day event on September 28, 2008, which saw The Journal bringing its ‘buy, use, eat, local’ message to the area around the historic Guildhall on Newcastle’s Quayside.

This year we worked with the County Show in Corbridge and saw tens of thousands of people come through the doors. The Journal’s Taste of the County featured more than 50 of the region’s artisan producers at the showground at Tynedale Rugby Club, Corbridge, in May.

The Journal’s seven-page Taste supplement on Fridays focuses on the ‘buy, use, eat local’ message. It supports the region’s many food and drink producers and suppliers, farmers, restaurants, catering companies, chefs and venues involved in supporting and promoting local produce.

The Taste events are the most visible sign of The Journal’s support for the huge range of quality food and drink businesses operating in the North.

The events reflect the growing appetite there is across all sectors in the North East for seasonal, quality, local produce.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer