The Seaham Food Festival kicked off today (Saturday August 6) with thousands of foodies descending on the County Durham coast to get a taste of the event.

Aromas of foods from around the world filled the air at the festival with over 100 stalls showcasing the best produce the region has to offer.

There were also performances of live music and demonstrations from famous faces including stars from TV’s MasterChef and Great British Bake Off, and local culinary talents.

Read more: EXCLUSIVE - Dad finally found at Wingate church after grave blunder

The two-day event returned to County Durham for the first time since all covid restrictions have been eased, and visitors arrived in their thousands to sample the food on offer.

Good weather welcomed those turning up for the free-to-enter event as queues formed at stalls from early in the morning.

MasterChef 2022 star Pookie Tredell kicked off the day’s cooking demonstrations with some fancy molecular gastronomy.

The Northern Echo: MasterChef's Pookie. Picture: CHRIS BOOTHMasterChef's Pookie. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

Later she told The Northern Echo: “This is my first time in The North East and I will definitely come back. I’m so happy to have had such massive support from the people of Seaham.

“I’m going to have a walk around all the stalls – I want to see everything!

“This is all such a big change since MasterChef but I’m having fun, this is something that I love and enjoy doing.”

To get more stories direct to your email basket go here

Throughout the day other famous faces took to the stage including Eat Well For Less presenter Chris Bevan, Great British Bake Off: The Professionals judge Cherish Finden, and local chefs Ryan Riley and North East Chef of the Year award-winner Kyle Greenwood.

The Northern Echo: Chris Bavin. Picture: CHRIS BOOTHChris Bavin. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

As well as watching the cooking demonstrations visitors indulged in the food on offer including flavours from around the world, baking and cocktails with stalls selling everything from gourmet hot dogs to Armenian street food and Greek Gyros.

Speaking at the start of the event Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for economy and partnerships, told The Echo: “We’re expecting several thousand people to come down over the weekend. It’s great to see everybody here enjoying themselves.

The Northern Echo: Crowds watching the cookery performances. Picture: CHRIS BOOTHCrowds watching the cookery performances. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

“It’s totally free and there’s plenty of entertainment for everyone including the kids.”

“Getting these events back after covid I think is hugely important. One of the things that suffered most was people’s emotional and mental wellbeing so getting out and about on a beautiful day and having something like this to enjoy is fabulous for everyone.”

Spot yourself in any of our pictures below? Leave a comment on this story.

The Northern Echo: Picture: CHRIS BOOTHPicture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: A bakery stall. Picture: CHRIS BOOTHA bakery stall. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Picture: CHRIS BOOTHPicture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Picture: CHRIS BOOTHPicture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Chris Bavin and Pookie on stage. Picture: CHRIS BOOTHChris Bavin and Pookie on stage. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Picture: CHRIS BOOTHPicture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Picture: CHRIS BOOTHPicture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Picture: CHRIS BOOTHPicture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Picture: CHRIS BOOTHPicture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: A performance by The Rascally Diner at the Amphitheatre. Picture: CHRIS BOOTHA performance by The Rascally Diner at the Amphitheatre. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Picture: CHRIS BOOTHPicture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Great British Bake Off: The Professionals judge Cherish. Picture: CHRIS BOOTHGreat British Bake Off: The Professionals judge Cherish. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Picture: CHRIS BOOTHPicture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Turkish food on offer. Picture: CHRIS BOOTHTurkish food on offer. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Picture: CHRIS BOOTHPicture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Cherish interacting with the crowds. Picture: CHRIS BOOTHCherish interacting with the crowds. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Picture: CHRIS BOOTHPicture: CHRIS BOOTH

The Northern Echo: Baque de Odum street performers. Picture: CHRIS BOOTHBaque de Odum street performers. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

Watch our Facebook live from the event:

Read next:

If you want to read more great stories, why not subscribe to your Northern Echo for as little as £1.25 a week. Click here