Food for thought at festival

Michiko McCartney, of Tokyo Kitchen.

Michiko McCartney, of Tokyo Kitchen.

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A treat for the taste buds is heading to Northumberland in the Cramlington Proper Food and Drink Festival.

The free event takes place this weekend in Seven Oaks Park, opposite Vue Cinema, attracting dozens of food and drink producers.

Music and other entertainment will also be provided to make it a day out for the whole family to enjoy.

Organisers Mark and Shelley Deakin have already seen thousands of people sample the fun at similar events in South Shields, Whitley Bay and Seaton Delaval Hall, which staged the ever-popular North East Chilli Fest earlier this month.

And the husband and wife team are hoping the Cramlington festival will also prove a hit.

“We’re determined to bring our festivals to new places to give as many people as possible a chance to discover the variety of produce that’s now available,” said Mark.

“It’s a festival in the proper sense of the word – there’s music and entertainment to make it a great day out for all the family.”

Producers from across the UK will attend the event to showcase their wares, including Mark’s sister Suzanne Cannon, who is a nurse.

With her husband, window fitter Gary, the pair spend their spare time making and bottling sauces for their Hot Stuff Chilli Company from their home in Sheffield.

Closer to home, Whitley Bay residents Russell and Michiko McCartney will bring their Tokyo Kitchen to the event, selling Japanese street food. Michiko learned to cook in Japan, where her father was a chef.

“The food business is opening up because of these festivals,” said Russell.

“People seem a lot more interested and they can come up and try different things.”

Entertainment is provided by Tony Eastlake, of Guerilla PA and Events.

The festival runs on Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 5pm each day.