A food festival with a truly international flavour will showcase some of East Durham’s finest traders and producers next month.
The very first Seaham Food Festival will take place on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June and will feature more than 100 stalls selling delicious dishes inspired by cuisines from all over the globe.
From indulgent cakes, desserts and cocktails, to fresh seafood, hearty burgers and spicy curries – there will be plenty to satisfy rumbling tummies throughout the weekend.
Inspiration will also be served up in abundance at the free open-air cookery theatre. Located on Terrace Green on the seafront, it will host live demonstrations by top chefs, including BBC Master Chef co-host John Torode on the Saturday and ITV This Morning’s Phil Vickery on the Sunday.
Following the success of Bishop Auckland Food Festival last month, excitement is building ahead of the free Durham County Council event, especially for traders based in the east of the county.
David Richardson, of The Canny Candy Gadgies, was born and raised in Seaham and has been running his confectionary business from the seaside town for three years. He is looking forward to showcasing his hometown as well as his tempting range of fudge, peanut brittle and honeycomb to the thousands of people expected to attend the festival.
David said: “I have lived in Seaham all of my life and I can’t stress enough what a fantastic thing this is for the town. There hasn’t been anything like this here before.
“Seaham really is a town on the up, especially when it comes to food and drink. There are lots of new bistros and micro pubs opening, and the festival will add to this, promoting what we’ve got on offer and building our reputation as a food destination.”
Another trader who will not have to travel far to sell his popular street food is Christian Garcia-Miralles of Castle Eden-based Spud Gun Loaded Fries. Christian’s moreish crispy fries, covered with tasty toppings, were a big hit at Bishop Auckland Food Festival and are sure to receive a similar reaction in Seaham.
“Food festivals are so important for small businesses like mine,” he said. “It gives us a chance to meet our customers and promote what we do to thousands of people. We have been travelling to festivals all over the country so to have one on our doorstep is a real bonus. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Street food fans will be spoiled for choice at the festival. Among the many treats in store include authentic Greek fare courtesy of Acropolis, South East Asian delights from Little Somboon Kitchen and healthy Indian cuisine from the Spicy Biker. Cubanos, meanwhile, will bring the tastes of Latin America to the coast, and the Fat Hippo will tempt the crowds with mouth-watering burgers.
Those with a sweet tooth can devour a scrumptious selection of goodies from the likes of Bespoke Brownies, Simply Cheese Cake and Churros Barcelona. And anyone who enjoys a tipple can discover everything from Juniper 1933’s premium gins, to refreshing beers brewed by McColl’s Brewery.
Festival-goers can also stock up on a wide range of meats, chutneys, spices, cheeses and other speciality ingredients to enjoy at home. Highlights include the Clucking Pig’s award-winning gourmet scotch eggs, the Screaming Chimp’s must-try chilli sauces, Calder’s Kitchen’s handmade piccalillis and artisan cheese created by North East dairies including Weardale Cheese, Teesdale Cheese and Northumbrian Cheese.
Cllr Ossie Johnson, Cabinet member for tourism, culture, leisure and rural issues at Durham County Council, said: “Seaham Food Festival looks set to be a fantastic day out for all of the family, but it is more than that. It is an opportunity to boost the local economy, raise Seaham’s profile and provide an outlet for small businesses from County Durham and beyond to showcase their products and reach new customers.
“The businesses mentioned are just a small handful of the artisan food producers and traders coming to the festival, so I would urge people to come along and see what’s on offer.”
As well as more than 100 food stalls and cookery demonstrations, the festival will feature children’s baking workshops, live music and Gingo, a refreshing twist on the quintessential pastime of bingo.
To book workshop or Gingo tickets and to stay up to date with the latest festival news, visit www.seahamfoodfestival.co.uk and follow @SeahamFoodFest on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.