Crowds gathered to see EAT! swing into action with a 10-day food-filled programme to satisfy everyone’s tastes.
The region’s biggest food and drink festival returned in style with some of the region’s top chefs cooking up culinary wonders on the Swing Bridge at today’s launch.
The al fresco dining saw Tom Adlam, installed as head chef at Tyneside Cinema’s soon-to-open bar-cafe, first up to serve lunch to early festival-goers on the platform of the bridge, with the Tyne flowing beneath their feet.
The weather turned out hot and sunny and a summery feast to match was created by Tom for diners seated at two tables set up on the platform.
Then the next sitting was in the hands of Masterchef Live winner Gareth Kyle and fellow MasterChef contestant David Tate who made lunch then the later afternoon tea before Tony Renwick of the nearby Bridge Tavern took over to provide the bridge dinner.
Carol Bell, head of culture and major events at NewcastleGateshead Initiative said: “We’ve had a fantastic time launching EAT! OUT on the Swing Bridge.
“The weather has been kind to us and we’re hoping it stays dry into weekend for the rest of our EAT! events.
“A big thanks to our festival sponsors Port of Tyne for working with us put on these special dining experiences on the Swing Bridge.
“Tom Adlam from Tyneside Café Bar did a brilliant job of launching the first Naked Feast of EAT! OUT and everyone had a great time.
“The tables have been full and the food has been perfect.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to begin this year’s EAT! festival, the Swing Bridge has to be my favourite bridge in NewcastleGateshead.”
The events were the first of the Naked Feasts which are all about stripped-back food served in unusual outdoor location.
Also among this year’s hosts will be Dunston Staithes, re-opening after a 30-year closure.
EAT!’s imaginative programme will run until August 17 and among its highlights will be foraging; the popular Food Heroes market showcasing the best in the market from the region’s food and drink producers; and a chance to go out pier fishing.