The north-east’s biggest one-day food and drink festival will make its return this summer with a star-studded line up of celebrity chefs.
TV duo Si King and Dave Myers, who are known as The Hairy Bikers, and James Martin will travel north once again for the festival, this time to its new home at Aberdeen’s P&J Live near Dyce on Saturday June 4.
The in-person event, which is in its 21st year, has been cancelled for the past two years.
And the trio of chefs, who were set to headline back in 2020, are looking forward to making their return to the region.
The Hairy Bikers have published 26 cookbooks and James Martin is best-known for presenting ITV cookery show James Martin’s Saturday Morning.
The duo said: “It is a bit of a homecoming. We are really looking forward to it and will be picking up things we fancy – if we can get out, as it is now pretty difficult to wander around and pick up products as everyone wants a selfie!”
In previous years, the festival has attracted more than 10,000 people through its doors.
This year, an estimated 15,000 are expected at the state-of-the-art venue.
Early bird tickets are now on sale at £10 and children under 12 go free. Tickets for the six celebrity chef demonstrations are also available to purchase now at £15.
What’s on offer at Taste of Grampian 2022?
Running from 9am to 6pm, festivalgoers will be able to enjoy a range of food and drink products from businesses who have travelled from across the north-east, and further afield, to showcase and sell their produce.
For many businesses, it is their biggest event of the year.
A variety of events including celebrity chef cooking demos, masterclasses from local chefs, wine and gin tastings and more will take place.
The popular fish market and local crafters area will make their return, and entertainment will available by the bucketload, with Original 106 FM playing hits, a live music stage, buskers and a children’s zone to enjoy.
This year’s event is themed around sustainability and it will see the introduction of TED Talk-inspired events hosted by various leaders in the food and drink sector.
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is the headline sponsor, and the festival will be further supported by Opportunity North East, Aberdeenshire Council, The Press and Journal and The Evening Express.
Alan Clarke, Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) chief executive, is looking forward to the return of the event.
He said: “With the rise of the eco-conscious consumer, this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the impressive environmental and nutritional credentials of Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork.
“The event showcases the wealth of fantastic local produce in the area and it presents an opportunity to demonstrate the versatility and taste of the Scotch brands, as well as boost the global reputation of Scotland as one of the most sustainable countries to produce red meat.”
Grant Rogerson, chief executive of ANM Group Limited, is keen to see the festival take shape in its new location.
He said: “We are proud to one of the founding partners – supporting local producers, farmers and the rural community is of great importance to us and is at the core of our cooperative values.
“The local food and drink sector plays a vital role within our economy and there is no doubt that the pandemic has had a detrimental effect on it.
“The return of the event will be welcomed by everyone, in particular the producers and suppliers, as they can once again showcase all that they have to offer to visitors.”
Peter Cook, director of food, drink and agriculture at Opportunity North East, knows all too well the quality of the produce local businesses will be showcasing at the event.
He said: “Our region is renowned for quality food and drink. From sustainable produce from land and sea and innovative manufacturers and producers, to global brands and ambitious start-ups.
“Taste of Grampian will be a fantastic opportunity for consumers to catch up with producers and sample and buy their unique products. We are delighted that there will be a focus on sustainability.”
And Paul Macari, head of planning and economy at Aberdeenshire Council, says the shopping local trend resonates with many in the region looking to support north-east firms.
He added: “It has always been evident that people love to taste and buy great local food and drink. It will be a tremendous opportunity to showcase the best Aberdeenshire has to offer.
“The hosting of Taste of Grampian has never been so important and we look forward to welcoming all those with a passion for quality and taste to the event.”
Taste of Grampian 2022 tickets on sale now
Early bird tickets for festival admission are priced at £10 and children under 12 go free. Early bird will be available until Sunday 27 February, from then price will increase to £12.
The chef demonstrations are £15. James Martin’s demos take place from 9.30am, noon and 2.30pm, and the Hairy Bikers at 10.45am, 1.15pm and 3.45pm.
Parking at P&J Live will also be free on the day.
For more information and tickets visit the Taste of Grampian website.
Do you want to be involved? To sponsor the event email firstname.lastname@example.org or to become an exhibitor contact Jillian Burns at email@example.com