A POPULAR food festival will showcase the region’s finest produce and best brews in a series of workshops this spring.

Bishop Auckland Food Festival returns on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday 19 and will see the town’s historic Market Place filled with more than 150 artisan food and drink traders from across the North-East.

The Durham County Council event will also feature free demonstrations by celebrity chefs, including MasterChef co-presenter John Torode, and interactive workshops.

Leading the workshops is food and drink author, Georga Spottiswood, who is also editor of Savour magazine. Mrs Spottiswood said: “The classes are fun and educational and provide people with a solid knowledge of the best food and drink pairings. We pick drinks with characteristics that complement flavours in food. For Bishop Auckland Food Festival, we’ve put together a menu that will definitely pack a punch for visitors.”Beer and Bites combines brewers’ tales with beer tasting along with nibbles.

It will take place at 1.45pm on the Saturday and Sunday and tickets costs £12.

Gin School workshops will take place at noon and 3.30pm on the Saturday and Sunday in Bishop Auckland Town Hall. Tickets cost £12.

Robin Byers, the council’s service manager for place and experience, said: “Our workshops provide an opportunity for people with a shared passion for food and drink to get together and try new things. We are delighted to be working with local producers and our friends at Savour Magazine to serve up more skills and inspiration this year.”