Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Festival Provides a Feast for Shoppers; Extravaganza Showcases the North's Talents

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Festival Provides a Feast for Shoppers; Extravaganza Showcases the North's Talents

Article excerpt

Byline: Katharine Capocci

THOUSANDS of food lovers descended on The Journal's Taste festival at the Gateshead Metrocentre over the weekend for gastronomic and culinary treats galore.

More than 40 artisan food and drink producers from around the region gathered at the Qube for the two-day taste extravaganza. As well as local produce on sale, there were samples on offer from stallholders selling everything from cheese, meats, chocolates and ice cream to cupcakes, wines and gin.

Shoppers were also treated to a series of lively cookery demonstrations over the weekend as chefs from around the region wowed the crowds in a theatrical-style mobile kitchen.

Taste at the Metrocentre was The Journal's fifth food and drink extravaganza since launching its "buy, use, eat local" campaign to encourage consumers, retailers, hoteliers and restaurateurs to favour quality foodstuffs grown, reared, sown and made between the Rivers Tweed and Tees. The latest event was hugely popular as visitors flocked to the stalls and made a beeline to sample chefs' produce.

Stallholder Rachel Brown's Yummylicious cupcakes sold well all weekend.

"I've sold nearly 800 cupcakes over two days. It's been a bumper weekend - I'm running out of flavours now," said Rachel, who runs her cakes and muffins business from home in Seghill, Northumberland.

"It's been fantastic to see all the food and drink producers here. Festivals like this are a great way to champion the producers of the North East."

Stallholder Bedou Kitchen's popular pies and pashtis - folded flat breads containing fusion fillings - were also a big hit, with over 3,000 products sold.

Rachel Gilbert, business development manager of the Gateshead-based business, said: "I'm absolutely over the moon. It's gone better than I thought and the launch of the pashtis has been phenomenal."

Peter Craig, director of Gatesheadbased Beckleberry's ice cream and patisserie makers, said the festival helped to further raise the profile of the company, which has won 52 awards. …

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