Celebrity chefs on menu for showcase

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A TOP celebrity chef and a new sensation in the world of cooking will be appearing at the North-east’s annual showcase for the food and drink sector.

Phil Vickery and Ed Baines will be displaying their culinary talents at The Taste of Grampian, at Inverurie’s Thainstone Centre on Saturday, June 2.

The pair will celebrate the area’s rich and diverse food and drink larder – reckoned by many to be the finest in the world – to the full.

They will each be giving their own cookery demonstrations and will round off the event with the now traditional cookery duel.

Taste of Grampian steering committee chairman Brian Pack revealed the celebrity chefs as he launched this year’s showcase.

Mr Pack urged food and drink firms to again support the event so that Grampian’s consumers can see, taste and buy the diverse range of goods they produce.

He added: “We have come a long way since we started the Taste of Grampian in 2000. Every year we have made improvements and this year is no different. We’ve listened again to the feed back and refined the day to give everyone from the food and drink firms taking part to our many visitors another day out to remember.”

Mr Pack said the North-east remained fortunate to be bucking national economic trends. Food and drink firms needed to fully exploit that and to do so they needed to be at the showcase.

His call for companies to exhibit their wares was backed by Belinda Miller, Aberdeenshire Council’s head of economic development.

She said: “The event focuses on telling consumers about the richness and diversity of the North-east’s larder and has become an important occasion for local businesses, many of whom now use it as the launch pad for their innovative new products. So put the date in your diary so you can find out yourself how great our local food really is.”

New innovations at Taste of Grampian in 2012 include a food court in the

Thainstone Exchange run by Highland Cuisine. Visitors will also be able to visit a farmyard and speak to the farmers who supply local stores.

For those wanting to try their hand at growing their own food, then sponsor Keenan Recycling will be providing compost in which herbs and vegetables can be grown. It too will be passing on tips to consumers on how they can collect their food waste and send it to be recycled to be made into compost.

Food and drink businesses from the rest of Scotland will be showcasing their wares in a visitors’ marquee. Local schools will again be competing at the event.

Taste of Grampian is organised by ANM Group, Aberdeenshire Council, the Grampian Food Forum, the Press and Journal and Scottish Enterprise.

For more information, contact Taste of Grampian organiser Carol Fowler, of PRime Events, on 01224 646488.