Scarborough Food and Drink Festival returns to Open Air Theatre

Scarborough’s Food and Drink Festival is returning to the Open Air Theatre this year after a successful event in 2019.

By Corinne Macdonald
Thursday, 20th February 2020, 9:09 am
Updated Thursday, 20th February 2020, 9:10 am

The culinary event, hosted by The Scarborough News and The Yorkshire Post, will take place from May 8 to May 10.

On the 75th anniversary of VE Day, this year’s festival will have a VE Day theme on its first day, and highlights include Yorkshire Food Finder Sue Nelson, who will be cooking up classic World War Two dishes with a Yorkshire twist.

Artisan food specialists, and real ale and gin producers will be exhibiting the best Yorkshire has to offer. Alongside them will be some of the county’s finest restaurants serving up signature dishes with live cookery demonstrations from some of the region’s top chefs.

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Some of the chefs gather at Eden Camp with produce to use in their war-inspired dishes. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

Local musicians will provide entertainment across the weekend, and new for this year will be beer tastings and a cocktail masterclass.

Accalimed chef Stephanie Moon, who will be hosting the demonstration kitchen, said: “I’m thrilled to be asked back to the Scarborough Food and Drink Festival, and we have a cracking line-up of local talent for you all to enjoy some superb cookery demos.

“Lots to enjoy, and bring the family on down to get involved and have some foodie fun.

“The weekend will be exciting with all the chefs really taking their chance to showcase wartime food and drink in a modern, innovative way, and it seems to have really sparked their creativeness.”

From left: Debbie Raw, Rhiannon Hunt, Sue Nelson, Paul O'connor, Rob Clark, Organiser Steph Moon, Philip Akrill and Rob Porter. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

Rob Clark, chef and owner of Clark’s restaurant in Scarborough, said: “It’s a great pleasure to be representing Clark’s restaurant in this year’s Scarborough Food Festival, showcasing the best in Yorkshire produce.

“We are looking forward to using ingredients and commodities from the wartime period and bringing dishes back to life with a modern twist to them.”

Rob Porter, chef and owner of pop-up business Graze Social Dining, added: “This has been great fun to come up with some ways to showcase wartime produce in a modern way and make it gastronomic.

“We are twisting up my dish of Dexter Beef as a rich man, poor man theme using fillet of beef and corned beef.

“As a Scarborough lad I am super excited and thrilled to be asked to my first time at Scarborough Food and Drink Festival”

A children’s fair, and entertainment and face painters will also be included to keep the kids happy, making the festival a fantastic family day out.

Scarborough Food and Drink Festival takes place from 2pm-7pm on Friday May 8, 11am-6pm on Saturday May 9 and 11am-4pm on Sunday May 10.

Organisers are currently looking for market stands, catering stands and drink stands, as well as local musicians and artists who wish to play on the music stage (a set will be 45 minutes).

If you wish to be involved in this year’s festival please email [email protected]Find out more information about the festival at from the weekend's programme

Several acclaimed chefs from across the region will be giving cookery demonstrations across the weekend.

Friday will begin with Sue Nelson cooking the intriguingly titled Yorkshire Secret Pie before Gilly Robinson and Debbie Raw from the Malton Cookery School take to the stage to cook World War Two classics with a distinctive Yorkshire twist.

Friday evening will see a new feature for 2020 when Simon Jenkins, the beer writer for the Yorkshire Evening Post, hosts a beer tasting.

Highlights from Saturday include demos from Phil Akrill, of The Green Room Brasserie, Luke Daniels from The Palm Court and Jon Appleby from The Blue Lion in East Witton.

Rob Porter of Graze Social Dining will cook a dish called ‘Rich Man, Poor Man’ and Martyn Hyde of Eat Me Cafe will be cooking VE favourite Homity pie with allotment vegetables.

There is another new event on Saturday evening with a cocktail masterclass by the Crown Spa Hotel. Chefs appearing on Sunday include UK Seafood Ambassador Rob Green and Peter Neville from The Pheasant Inn in Harome.

Rob Clark, chef and owner of Clark’s Restaurant, will be cooking spam fritter lollipops, ox cheek ‘pie’ and forced Yorkshire rhubarb and custard.

More chefs and events will be announced over the coming months.