Over the past 15 years, the Festival has expanded massively and has become one of the highlights of the regional calendar. Now attracting over 30,000 visitors and 150 food and producers, each year sees more celebrity names, more interactive workshops and more attractions added to the event.
In the past few years alone, Bishop Auckland Food Festival has welcomed stars from some of the UK’s biggest cookery shows such as Masterchef, Great British Bake Off, Britain’s Best Home Cook and even a food scientist!
2019 saw Gregg Wallace make his ‘BAFF’ debut. Co-host of BBC MasterChef and the nation’s most famous greengrocer, Gregg was thrilled to share behind the scenes gossip to a packed Bishop Auckland Town Hall. He said: “Meeting new people, discovering their passion for food and sampling local specialities is a real treat.”
A Londoner who started his career at Covent Garden Fruit and Veg Market, Gregg is aware of the power of markets and festivals to spark conversations about food, as well as allowing producers and suppliers to interact directly with their customers – which is why so many producers have been affected by the cancellation of so many events.
Gregg’s on-screen partner and fellow host/judge John Torode was due to join us in 2020. John, who also presents John and Lisa’s Weekend Kitchen with his wife Lisa Faulkner on ITV, would have been demonstrating a selection of delicious dishes on the Saturday.
Australian by birth, he is credited as one of the major players in introducing Australasian food to the UK in the 1990s. His television career has also seen him travel the world in search of vibrant cuisines and exciting recipes for the BBC and UKTV.
John said: “I am really looking forward to coming to Bishop Auckland Food Festival. I have heard great things about the event and the wonderful produce that can be found in the North East. I love to meet people who share my passion for food and cooking.”
Sadly, John’s visit had to be put on hold due to the pandemic but fingers crossed we can showcase the region’s best food and drink producers to John in the future.
Plans are underway and the team is hoping to share more news soon. Keep checking back or sign up to the newsletter to be the first to hear.
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