Miss Sunderland and Miss Northumberland will be cooking up some hot stuff

Miss Sunderland Philippa Attle.
Miss Sunderland Philippa Attle.
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REIGNING Miss Sunderland Pip Attle is preparing for a battle of the beauties with Miss Northumberland.

The pageant queens, who this year represented the region in Miss England, will go to head-to-head at the Alnwick Food Festival.

Miss Northumberland Laura Hickey is backing the Jam Jar Army.

Miss Northumberland Laura Hickey is backing the Jam Jar Army.

The Ready Steady Cook-style contest is set to be a highlight of the three-day gastronomic celebration which runs from September 23-25.

Pip, 18, from Chester-le-Street, and Laura Hickey, who are good friends, will take to their cooking stations at 1pm on September 25.

The sixth form student said: “I’m really looking forward to the celebrity cook-offs. Laura and I will enjoy competing against each other and we’ve both got top quality chef partners to share the workload.”

Pip will be assisted by Sean Wilson of The Saddleworth Cheese Company, Lancashire.

Sean, who is best known for his role as Martin Platt in Coronation Street, produces his own range of artisan cheese and previously demonstrated his cooking abilities at the 2010 Alnwick Food Festival.

The actor said: “The Alnwick Food Festival is a fantastic occasion and I’m delighted to again attend this year’s activities.

“I’m really looking forward to helping Pip in the cook-off competition and enjoy the festival’s unique setting and atmosphere.”

Big-hearted Sean has strong ties to the region and last year participated in a celebrity Fishing with The Stars competition to help raise funds for Sunderland’s Grace House North East’s Children’s Hospice Appeal.

Laura, Miss Northumberland, will be assisted by renowned local chef Juan Iniesta from Blackmore’s of Alnwick.

This is the seventh annual Alnwick Food Festival and crowds are expected to exceed 25,000.

The popular regional food event is hosting a series of cooking demonstrations over the entire weekend as well as two presentations on September 24 by celebrity guest and Michelin Star Chef Jean-Christophe Novelli.

The world famous French chef is scheduled to deliver his first cooking presentation at noon and a repeat performance at 3pm.

Pip won the Miss Sunderland crown in May and has since modelled for a number of local businesses.

Click here for a full schedule of Alnwick Food Festival events.