Sunderland Food and Drink Festival line up includes celebrity chefs and Bake Off finalist

Celebrity chefs and a Bake Off finalist will be taking part in this year’s Sunderland Food and Drink Festival.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 12:40 pm

The Festival – which will take place throughout June – will be a concoction of virtual events and in-person socially distanced experiences.

Organisers Sunderland BID and Sunderland City Council have now announced some of the big names who will be taking part this time round.

Acclaimed French chef, Jean Christophe Novelli – who was a huge hit when he appeared in person at the first festival in 2019 – will be running a number of cook-a-long sessions, as well as an event where he will talk about his life and answer questions.

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Rustie Lee, Jean Christophe Novelli and Alice Fevronia are taking part in the festival.
Rustie Lee, Jean Christophe Novelli and Alice Fevronia are taking part in the festival.

Food lovers can also tuck into virtual classes with TV chef, Rustie Lee, who is as well known for her raucous laugh as her culinary expertise.

Alice Fevronia, who made it to the Great British Bake Off final in 2019, has also signed up to appear, bringing a touch of the tent to the festival.

And to ensure that youngsters also don’t miss out, CBBC’s Stefan Gates, who combines cooking with science and fronts up TV’s Gastronuts, will be running some online sessions too.

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID, said: “The Food and Drink Festival was a huge success in 2019 but then it had to be cancelled last year because of Covid-19.

“Although we can’t bring it back just yet in the same format, we have put together a really exciting programme with something for everyone to enjoy – even if it is in their own homes.

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“We’re looking forward to being able to share details of more of the events in the coming weeks.”

Other events involving local restaurants and cooks and details of an ambitious community cake decorating event are yet to be announced.

Councillor Linda Williams, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, said: “It’s brilliant to see French chef Jean Christophe Novelli, who was hugely popular at the 2019 festival, making a return appearance.

“We’re also looking forward to welcoming TV chef, Rustie Lee who I think is amazing, Great British Bake-Off finalist, Alice Fevronia and CBBC favourite Stefan Gates to the mix. It should make for a really exciting festival.”

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