Seaham Food Festival's celebrity chef line-up is announced with Rosemary Shrager and Phil Vickery

TV chefs Rosemary Shrager and Phil Vickery will be serving up culinary tips at the return of Seaham Food Festival in August which will also feature TV presenter Chris Bavin and local favourite Mike Bartley.

In the first wave of announcements it was revealed that Shrager, who has been a star attraction at the County Durham weekender before when she and Bartley were among the hosts of cookery demonstrations in 2021, will be back on the menu at this summer's event. And this time she will share a stage with fellow chef and presenter Vickery who has been a familiar face on ITV's This Morning for more than 22 years.

The coastal festival, run by Durham County Council, always attracts big crowds to Seaham seafront, where food and drink stalls, showcasing produce from hundreds of the region's traders, are laid out around the cookery demonstration areas and a free entertainment programme includes live music. Shrager, who is also a cookery book author and showed how she could just about cook anything anywhere when she took part in I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here, continues to be a TV regular, appearing in programmes such as Netflix's Best Leftovers Ever and ITV's Cooking with the Stars.

Last time around she welcomed the chance to be taking part in Seaham Food Festival, coming as it did after the challenges of Covid, and she was excited to see what the local traders and producers had to offer. This time she and Vickery - who has appeared on the likes of BBC’s Holiday, Ready Steady Cook and Proof of the Pudding and is himself a prolific author - will be sharing the stage on the festival's first day, Saturday, August 4.

Playing host to them will be Bavin - known for the likes of Britain's Best Home Cook and Eat Well for Less?, which he co-hosts - and this will mark a return visit too for the presenter, also a regular on The One Show, who was part of Bishop Auckland Food Festival in April. Festival-goers will also get to see in action previous Masterchef contestant Bartley, who is now busy with his plans to open his own restaurant in Newgate Street, Bishop Auckland, with the aim of offering an affordable tasting menu showcasing foraged and locally-grown produce.

The local talent also aims to host regular events featuring fellow Masterchef contestants and a selection of their dishes while also continuing to work as a private chef. The line-up of celebrity chefs for the festival's second day, Sunday, August 5, will be announced soon, as will the live music programme for the two days.

Coun Elizabeth Scott, of Durham County Council, called Saturday's line-up "fantastic" and said: “We are excited to be able to announce the celebrity chefs for Seaham Food Festival. She added: “As one of the region’s biggest food festivals, thousands are expected to flock to Seaham over the two days, not only bringing an economic boost to the appearing traders but to businesses local to the area.

"I hope people are getting ready to make the trip to the seaside for a summer weekend celebrating all things food.” For more information about the festival see here.