TV chef James Martin is returning to Taste of Grampian this summer.
Taste of Grampian Chairman John Gregor revealed the news, ahead of the 19th event, at the Thainstone Centre, near Inverurie in Aberdeenshire.
The news came today at a special launch event for Scotland’s largest one-day food festival is a celebration of Grampian’s food and drink producers and will take place on Saturday, 2 June.
James said: ‘Taste of Grampian is a fantastic day out. The produce in this area is second to none and the event gives people the chance to find suppliers that are literally on their doorstep.
‘I’m looking forward to the cookery demonstrations where I am planning dishes that can easily be made at home using fresh, local Grampian ingredients that I think the audience will love.’
John added: ‘I’m absolutely delighted to be welcoming James Martin back to Thainstone Centre this year for the third time in its history on June 2.
‘He was a major draw and crowd-pleaser to the event last year and went out of his way to meet stand holders and visitors to the show.
‘The breadth of local food and drink on offer at the festival this year will highlight our continued commitment to showcasing new and established producers. It’s always a great day out for all the family.’
Returning as the main sponsor of the event will be Specially Selected Pork (QMS). It was also confirmed that wine writer, columnist and TV personality Susy Atkins will also return to the show to head up the wine tasting sessions.
Visitors can enjoy cookery demonstrations throughout the day, head-to-head school competitions and more than 180 stands. Local musicians will entertain the crowds all day continuing into the evening with the Night Market which will be a celebration of music and food from 6-9pm. New for 2018 will be a Brewdog Masterclass, showcasing several of their craft beers.
Following last year’s success, the Gin Masterclass will return and a new Craft Brewery Tent will promote some of the north-east’s best loved brews and ciders.
The launch also saw Scotland’s National Chef, Gary Maclean and 2016 winner of BBC Masterchef The Professionals launch the new Taste of Hospitality Open Day which will include a special competition aimed at 15-24 year olds.
Tied in with Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, the lecturer and Masterchef Professional winner heralded the event as: ‘The perfect opportunity to showcase the diversity of the hospitality industry,’ and said: ‘anything to encourage youth into the industry as a career path is a brilliant idea.’
The Open Day will take place on March 6, at Aberdeen Altens Hotel. Four finalists chosen from all the competition entries will be able to try their hands at programming and marketing a brand-new Year of Young People 2018 Stage at Taste of Grampian on June 2. One lucky finalist will also be chosen for an apprenticeship.
Jo Robinson, VisitScotland regional director said: ‘Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 is a fantastic chance to showcase the creative talents of our brilliant young people and celebrate their valuable contributions.
‘Taste of Grampian are shining a spotlight on their achievements and offering a unique opportunity to gain useful skills as well as first-hand experience in the events, hospitality and tourism industry.’
Taste of Grampian is a non-profit making event. Prices are £8 entry to the event for anyone over 16. Aged 16 and under are free with a paying adult. Car parking is free.