The Bishop Auckland Food Festival returns with a weekend of fantastic food and family fun.

The festival on Saturday (April 23) and Sunday is also a key part of County Durham’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2025, showcasing how people can get involved in culture through food.

The weekend will see hundreds of traders set up shop across Bishop Auckland town centre, ready to share their goodies with visitors – from sensational street food and delicious desserts to artisan produce and locally-brewed beverages.

Here is the line up of incredible celebrity chefs followed by a full running order of events. 

The Northern Echo: John WhaitesJohn Whaites

John Whaite,
Chef, TV Presenter, Author
and Strictly Come Dancing Star

John Whaite is a British cook, cookery author, content creator and TV presenter. John appeared on Strictly Come Dancing in 2021 and danced his way into the final alongside his professional partner Johannes Radebe. John also won the third series of The Great British Bake Off, and runs his own cookery school, John Whaite’s Kitchen, set in the heart of rural Lancashire.

The Northern Echo: Crystelle PereiraCrystelle Pereira

Crystelle Pereira,
Great British Bake Off Finalist,
Cook & Baker

Crystelle Pereira is a 26-year old quick-witted cook and baker from London. Born in North London to Kenyan born, Portuguese-Goan parents, Crystelle loves sharing her Portuguese-Goans recipes. She stole the hearts of the nation in the Great British Bake Off (Channel 4 and Netflix USA, 2021).

The Northern Echo: Matt PritchardMatt Pritchard

Matt Pritchard,
Chef, TV Presenter
and The Dirty Vegan

Formerly known as the front man of MTV’s Dirty Sanchez, Matt has left his pranking days behind for his love of vegan food, health and fitness.

The Northern Echo: Chris BavinChris Bavin

Chris Bavin,
Chef, TV Presenter and Author

Since a TV production company first stumbled across him in 2011 he has gone from strength to strength and is co-presenter of BBC1’s hugely successful series Eat Well for Less? with Gregg Wallace. The show has had incredible ratings and the accompanying book is a best seller.

The Northern Echo: Philli Armitage-MattinPhilli Armitage-Mattin

Philli Armitage-Mattin,
Chef and MasterChef Finalist

Philli Armitage-Mattin is an acclaimed chef with a passion for big flavours. As a finalist on BBC One’s MasterChef The Professionals, Philli entertained the nation with her take on playful Asian-inspired dishes. 

The Northern Echo: Chigs-ParmarChigs-Parmar

Chigs Parmar,
Great British Bake Off Contestant
He’s the Great British Bake Off finalist who wowed judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith with his astoundingly arty cakes. Chigs Parmar’s baking prowess is even more incredible considering he taught himself how to bake during the 18 months of lockdown.

The Northern Echo: Mike BartleyMike Bartley

Mike Bartley,
MasterChef Contestant

From Bishop Auckland, County Durham, Mike competed in Masterchef 2021 winning a coveted Masterchef apron and receiving strong feedback from judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace as well as guest judges Thomas Frake (Masterchef Champion 2020) and Ping Coombes (Masterchef Champion 2021).

The Northern Echo:

Karen Wright, Bake Off 2018 contestant, will host a series of adult and children’s Cookery Workshops.

There will be Stromboli and focaccia-making for the adults and fruit crumble and naan bread sessions for the kids. Sessions for youngsters are just £5 and sessions will be available through Saturday 23rd.

The following is the full running order for the weekend: