Thousands of foodies hit the coast for Seaham Food Festival featuring Masterchef star Pookie Tredell and Sunderland's Life Kitchen founder Ryan Riley
Haute cuisine mixed with hearty grub as the Seaham Food Festival returned for its annual seaside outing.
Thousands of foodies headed to Terrace Green, home of the famous Tommy statue for the event on Saturday (August 6), with organisers expecting a combined total of at least 10,000 by the time it wraps up on Sunday (August 7).
As well as more than 100 stalls from a range of artisan cookers, growers, makers, distillers and brewers, entertainment was also on offer for crowds, whether they were into the music of Sunderland act the Lake Poets – best known for this theme music to the Netflix documentary Sunderland ‘Till I Die – or children’s theatre.
And a host of famous names were also on hand to demonstrate their culinary skills.
Among them was Ryan Riley, founder of Sunderland’s Life Kitchen, which specialises in teaching cancer and Covid-19 patients to cook food adapted for the changes in taste the disease and their treatments can cause.
Among the meals whipped up by the former Washington School pupil included Parmesan cod with salt and vinegar cucumber salad; and miso white chocolate sauce with frozen berries.
Speaking at the festival, he said: "It’s really important everyone has those core [cooking] skills.
“Food is all about enjoyment and living, especially in a place like this where you can see people like myself and other amazing chefs show you how to cook the simplest food but done really really well – anyone can do it.”
Sharing the billing with Ryan was Masterchef star Pookie Tredell, who wowed crowds with her showcase of molecular gastronomy, with Seaham Hall chef Kyle Greenwood completing Saturday’s roster to show off his skills.
Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships said: “The festival is a celebration of everything food and drink.
“We’ve got lots of people here, probably heading towards 10,000 over the course of the weekend, so it’s huge.
“We’ve got [Chris Bavin, host of] Eat Well For Less, which is all about making food go further and producing good, healthy meals, which is very helpful in our economic climate.”