Chefs turn up the heat at The Journal’s Taste of the County food festival

TOP chefs from around the region will be turning up the heat at The Journal’s Taste of the County food festival at the Northumberland County Show in Corbridge today.

TOP chefs from around the region will be turning up the heat at The Journal’s Taste of the County food festival at the Northumberland County Show in Corbridge today.

The cream of the region’s best culinary talents will take it in turns to demo to the crowds from a state-of-the-art mobile kitchen housed inside our festival marquee.

Fast-paced chef demos will be one of the attractions alongside the 60 food and drink stallholders who are selling their artisan local produce at our event.

The long-awaited Taste of the County food and drink event, organised by The Journal, and sponsored by food agency Taste North East, will be held undercover in a giant tent.

It will be an added tasty attraction for the tens of thousands of visitors expected to flock to the hugely popular agricultural show being held at Tynedale Park in the town from 9am to 6pm.

The Taste tent is positioned by the main pedestrian entrance inside the showground.

It’s a great opportunity to support local producers and a chance to stock up on everything from meats, cheeses, bakery produce, preserves, cakes, jams, and locally brewed tipples. The full list of exhibitors and a map of their location can be seen right.

It’s the eighth Taste food and drink festival The Journal has held in support of our ‘buy, use, eat local’ campaign. It’s also the third year running we have joined forces with the County Show.


Visitors can pull up a chair and watch the action as half a dozen chefs rustle up a selection of locally-sourced, seasonal dishes. Each demo will last about 30 minutes.

The running order for chef demonstrations throughout the day is as follows:

11am – Mark Percival, title holder of North East Chef of the Year 2011. Mark is sous chef at Eslington Villa, Low Fell, Gateshead.

He is looking forward to his stint at the stove today. "I am recreating my winning salmon dish from the Chef of the Year competition. It’s salmon served three ways.

"It’s the first time I’ve done a demo like this. It’s good experience – it puts me under a bit of pressure!"

12 noon – John Calton, executive head chef at the Duke of Wellington Inn at Newton, near Corbridge in Northumberland, and a BBC MasterChef: The Professionals 2010 finalist.

John, who is making his culinary mark at the country pub, is used to cooking under pressure from his time on the pressured BBC culinary show.

John is a big supporter of local produce and will be creating a seasonal dish with the wow factor.

1pm – David Kennedy, head chef and owner of David Kennedy’s Food Social @ The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle.

Award-winner David is also a food columnist for the Taste section in The Journal’s Culture magazine. He will be creating healthy eating tapas-style dishes using local ingredients from the Social Bites menu at his restaurant.

2pm – Jamie Walsh, head chef, Eslington Villa, Low Fell, Gateshead.

Prior to his new post as head chef at Eslington Villa, Jamie worked at The Sage Gateshead and was a previous head chef at the Fisherman’s Lodge in Jesmond.

Jamie sources local produce from some of the region’s finest suppliers for many of his dishes. He is going to demonstrate a lemon posset dessert today.

3pm – Ross Bootland, head chef, Hotel du Vin, Newcastle. Assisted by Drew Heron, head chef, Malmaison in Newcastle.

Ross and Drew also champion local produce on their menus. Today Ross will be cooking smoked haddock fish cakes with soft poached egg and butter sauce. Drew will be acting as Ross’s commis chef for the demo.

For more info on the Taste event visit

For ticket details and general info on the County Show, visit

Don’t miss our round-up of the County Show in tomorrow’s paper.


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