Scrantastic: Sunderland's Stacie Stewart helps pull in crowds at weekend food festival

David Goodchild from Roker trying some of Stacie Stewart's food. Picture issued by North News
David Goodchild from Roker trying some of Stacie Stewart's food. Picture issued by North News
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Foodies and families have been enjoying a celebration of all things culinary at Sunderland's new free food festival.

The three-day Scrantastic event began on Friday and runs until Sunday at The Broadway and Rectory Park in Houghton, featuring cookery demonstrations, food stalls, a continental market, free family entertainment, food themed activities including street theatre and a funfair.

Stacie Stewart. Picture issued by North News.

Stacie Stewart. Picture issued by North News.

Sunderland's own Stacie Stewart, who swept to fame on MasterChef and now appears on TV's How to Lose Weight Well, returned to Wearside to be part of the festival.

The celebrity chef entertained crowds with a cooking demonstration before visitors enjoyed a range of live music, children’s activities and street theatre.

Among those on the bill tomorrow are Great British Bake Off’s Steven Carter Bailey and performances from Cbeebies star Katy Ashworth.

The new event launched by Sunderland City Council will be followed by Sunderland Food and Drink Festival, which takes place in Sunderland City Centre in June.

One of the stalls at Scrantastic. Picture issued by North News.

One of the stalls at Scrantastic. Picture issued by North News.

Michelin-starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli is the headline act at the festival, which will take over the city centre from Friday June 21 to Sunday June 23. Also on the bill is TV chef and author Dean Edwards.

The city centre festival will see Keel Square, High St West, Market Square and Blandford Street become home to a variety of stalls offering local produce from local traders, street food and speciality food and drinks plus music and street entertainment.

Chief executive of Sunderland City Council, Patrick Melia said: “We are continually looking to develop our events programme which brings visitors and income into our city, and showcases Sunderland as a place where people can come to enjoy a regular programme of top class cultural, sports and entertainment activities.

"When we ask people what kind of new events they'd like to see in Sunderland food festivals are often suggested, so to be able to bring two to the city in the space of a couple of months is fantastic.

"Hopefully 'Scrantastic' in Houghton this month will whet people's appetites for the Sunderland Food and Drink Festival being held in the city centre."

Stacie Stewart at Scrantastic. Picture issued by North News.

Stacie Stewart at Scrantastic. Picture issued by North News.

Scrantastic. Picture issued by North News.

Scrantastic. Picture issued by North News.

Stacie Stewart at Scrantastic. Picture issued by North News.

Stacie Stewart at Scrantastic. Picture issued by North News.

Stacie Stewart visiting Thirlaway's Butchers, meeting Daniel Beeston . Picture issued by North News.

Stacie Stewart visiting Thirlaway's Butchers, meeting Daniel Beeston . Picture issued by North News.

Scrantastic. Picture issued by North News.

Scrantastic. Picture issued by North News.