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Food festival set to serve up a town centre treat in Darlington

battle of the burger

A television celebrity dubbed “The Nation’s Favourite French Chef” is the star attraction at a four-day North-East food and drink festival.

Jean-Christophe Novelli, who has made numerous television appearances, will be staging demonstrations at the Darlington Food and Drink Festival, otherwise known as “Darlo Dines Out”.

Jean-Christophe has won multiple Michelin Stars in a glittering career and was voted “Chefs’ Chef of the Year” by his peers.

jean-christpohe novelli

Jean-Christophe Novelli

He will be giving demonstrations in a marquee kitchen in Darlington’s market square from 11am on Saturday, May 26.

The festival will be launched by the Mayor of Darlington, Councillor Veronica Copeland, at 10.30am on Friday, May 25, with BBC Fusion Chef Aazam Ahmad starting the festival activities with a demonstration to local schoolchildren and college students.

chef

Aazam Ahmad

The food court in the market square will be packed with food and drink traders, including African street food, Indian dishes, paella, cheeses, kebabs, speciality burgers, gourmet hotdogs, fish and chips, gin, Prosecco, and real ales.

West Row will also come alive with stalls showcasing delicious foods, with the chance to sample culinary delights such as artisan breads and mouth-watering chocolates.

The Sunday of the festival begins at 11am with a “Battle of the Burger” fought out between the Hole in the Wall and Kerb Edge.

burger

Battle of the burger

Sunday will also feature “The King’s Grill Great British Barbecue” by the Mercure Hotel; The Keys showing how to make the perfect Sunday roast; Restaurant Celebrus and Catalins Wine showing how to pair food and drink; and a “Cocktail Off” showdown between The Keys, Mercure Hotel, Restaurant Celebrus and Voodoo.

Monday will see Darlington’s “Food For Thought” chefs battling it out to see who can create the best meal from waste food.

There will be live music and walkabout street theatre throughout the four days of the festival, and a Hilarity Bites stand-up comedy evening on the Sunday.

Family fun will include face-painting, bubbles, balloons, drop-in crafts, and the chance to decorate a cupcake with the Junior Kitchen Team.

The festival is a partnership between Market Asset Management (MAM) and Darlington Borough Council and is entirely free.

MAM Director of Operations Malcolm Veigas said: “The festival is going to be a fantastic, fun-packed showcase for top quality food, drink and entertainment, and really help enhance Darlington’s reputation as vibrant place to come.”

Published with kind permission of Peter Barron, The Northern Echo

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For Food and Drink Festival information click here