Newcastle Food and Drink Festival announces top chef line-up

The inaugural Newcastle Food and Drink Festival which is set to take over Exhibition Park this spring has now announced the chefs who will be taking part - and they include top talents from the region and the star of a Michelin star restaurant.

The festival, which promises to be a culinary feast for the senses, will make its debut in Exhibition Park over the early May bank holiday weekend. And a highlight will be a programme of live demonstrations in its Cookery Theatre.

The line-up of chefs giving those cooking demonstrations has now been revealed and they include heads of the kitchen at some of our best local restaurants, including MasterChef: The Professionals semi-finalist - and North East Chef of The Year - Kyle Greenwood of Seaham Hall and Scott John-Hodgson, head chef at Newcastle's Michelin star restaurant Solstice, who recently appeared on BBC's Great British Menu.

The Live Cookery Theatre will be presented by Anthony O’Shaughnessy, a MasterChef finalist, who teaches at a number of cookery schools, including Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food as well as the one at Blackfriars in Newcastle, where he is currently cookery school manager and which is also taking part in the demos.

The festival, which has been three years in the planning, is shaping up to be a major event and over its May 4-6 run there also will be a range of entertainment alongside the central attractions of an Artisan Market with more than 100 stalls selling regional produce; a Street Food Arena with diverse global cuisine and independent pop-up bars including an Ale-House being hosted in partnership with Tyne Bank Brewery.

Up to 18 live music performances will take place over its runs and there will be lots of free children's entertainment. To buy tickets for the festival - and early bird options have already sold out - see here.

Read more about the debut event here and here's a guide to which chefs are appearing and when.

Saturday, May 4

Troy Terrington - chef-patron of Dobson & Parnell, Newcastle

Chris Wardale - executive chef at Blackfriars, Newcastle (Dobson & Parnell is its sister restaurant)

Cocktail Masterclass - Silk Route Spirits, Newcastle

Kyle Greenwood - Seaham Hall, County Durham

Sunday, May 5

Joshua Sercombe - resident chef at Blackfriars Cookery School, Newcastle

Scott John-Hodgson - Solstice, Newcastle

Native Cave - seafood restaurant, Newcastle-based

Wilem Brugge - of Blackfriars Cookery School and tasting events

Monday, May 6

Jonny Hesketh - Parm-O-Rama, North East

Emma Carlton - Sweet Patisserie, Whitley Bay

Chef Guarav - executive chef at My Delhi, Newcastle and Sunderland

Jonny Wardale - head chef at The Highlander, Ponteland

Thousands of people are expected to attend the May festival, which also will be working with Tyneside & Northumberland Mind as its charity partner.