By Contributor | Gazette Herald
THE “food fest of the North” gets underway in Malton at the weekend with organisers saying this year will be the tastiest yet.
As well as a leading chefs and food writers, including Dragon’s Den champion Levi Roots, BBC wild chef Valentine Warner, Great British Menu judge and food campaigner Prue Leith and Sunday Telegraph food writer Diana Henry, the festival will welcome a feast of local talent, including Yorkshire chefs Andrew Pern, James Mackenzie, Tim Bilton and Simon Crannage.
Festival-goers can try their hand at lessons in Malton Cookery School or attend tutored tastings in the old town hall on Friday and Saturday.
Great British Menu judge Prue Leith and acclaimed food writer Diana Henry will be talking to fans about their lives in food.
Visitors will also have the chance to learn to spot a sea trout from a salmon in a seafood masterclass with Harrogate fishmonger Ramus, taste 100 types of honey with food writer Hattie Ellis, learn how to get the spice just right with flavour savant Arun Kapil and take a whistle-stop tour through 4,000 years of history with Waitrose kitchen editor William Sitwell.
The Malton Food Lovers Festival restaurant returns this year, run by the Pickled Porker – an artisan cider house and Yorkshire tapas pop-up, along with more than 160 stalls and 30 street food vendors.
On Saturday afternoon, Prue Leith will chair the festival’s first-ever NFU kitchen question time, an open debate with panellists Levi Roots, Valentine Warner, Diana Henry, Hattie Ellis and Steph Moon.
Peter Sidwell, star baker and presenter of ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery, is making his homecoming to Yorkshire just for the festival, and will be running a series of baking masterclasses on the Sunday.
In addition, the first-ever festival party will kick-off at 6pm on Saturday, with reggae reggae headliner Levi Roots and his 12-piece band, as well as a host of local musical talent. Street food will be available, along with refreshments from local breweries Brass Castle and Bad Seed, which are manning the beer tent from Friday night.
Festival organiser Tom Naylor-Leyland said: “We have a huge number of culinary stars and foodie experts gathering in Malton for this year’s festival offering demos, talks, tastings and cookery lessons along with our first-ever festival party.
“Our fantastic Yorkshire produce is at the heart of our food loving town and with more than160 stalls gathering in Malton visitors will spoilt for choice.
“This year’s festival is expected to be a wonderful weekend with something for everyone. I’m looking forward to the annual celebration of Yorkshire’s Capital of Food and hope to see everyone there. I think we can proudly say that Malton is fhe food fest of the North.”