Taste buds are guaranteed to tingle at Taste of Grampian

Crowds at a previous Taste of Grampian event
Crowds at a previous Taste of Grampian event

The north east’s popular one-day food and drink festival will return to the Thainstone Centre near Inverurie for the 19th year tomorrow (Saturday, June 2).

This year’s Taste of Grampian event will run from 9am to 9pm with an action-packed line-up in store for visitors.

Celebrity chef James Martin will return to the festival

Celebrity chef James Martin will return to the festival

Celebrity chef James Martin is delighted to be returning to host three cooking demonstrations.

It seems his fans were equally as happy as tickets to all of the demos sold out within minutes!

Also attending this year’s event is Susy Atkins, renowned wine writer, broadcaster and one of the UK’s most knowledgeable experts in her field.

Susy will host four wine masterclasses at the Corney and Barrow Marquee throughout the day.

Tickets for each masterclass are £15, available online at Event Brite.

Attending Taste of Grampian this year for the first time is BBC Masterchef Professional winner and Scotland’s national chef, Gary Maclean.

Gary will host two cookery demonstrations at the Braehead Foods Demo Kitchen, the first at 1pm and the second at 2.25pm.

No tickets are required for these demonstations but make sure you head along in plenty of time to ensure you get a seat.

Cooking demonstrations by both James and Gary will feature only fresh, local ingredients.

Meanwhile, BrewDog co-founder Martin Dickie will host a masterclass with the company’s master of quality, Dr Fraser Gormley.

This will be held in the Brewfest Marquee at 1.45pm, in what will be the company’s first year as an event sponsor.

Martin and Fraser will give lucky visitors the chance to learn more about BrewDog’s uncompromising crusade for great craft beer, as well as the opportunity to taste a small batch beer from the Ellon brewer’s innovative new beer subscription service, Fanzine.

Plenty of BrewDog beers will be available for fans during the day too, served up from BrewDog’s 7.5 tonne shipping container-turned-mobile-bar.

BrewDog’s craft distillery, LoneWolf, will also be joining the festivities as head of distillation, Steven Kersley, takes to the stage for a spirits masterclass at 4pm.

This will showcase LoneWolf’s various craft gins, including Bathtub, Gunpowder and its signature brand gin which launched the distiller in May 2017.

Spirit fans will also be offered the chance to try the exclusive Taste of Grampian Gin, distilled especially for the show.

For those looking for a bit of fun, head to Ring 3 at 2pm to see Aberdeen and Northern Marts auctioneer Colin Slessor take on Cock and Bull head chef Graham Mitchell in a surf and turf cook off.

Colin found himself as one of the stars of the BBC show The Mart and his wicked sense of humour finds him paired against Graham who won the national title of Surf and Turf Chef of the Year last November.

Graham has been at the helm of The Cock and Bull for a year now, where he runs the menu using local seasonal ingredients as well as daily specials.

The final of the Aspiring Young Chef Competition will take place in the morning in Ring 3.

Finalists Barry Gunn and Ryan Laird will be asked to come up with a healthy and balanced starter and main course, with pork as one of the ingredients.

There will also be an outdoor display of vintage cars and motor bikes, music, balloon modelling, Inverurie Pipe Band, a fish market, a selection of market stalls and some 200 exhibitors.

Last year, 30 per cent of standholders reported higher than expected sales with many companies using it as a platform to promote new products. Many exhibitors found themselves having to restock midway through the day.

As the region is home to the UK’s largest white fish landing port in Peterhead and Europe’s largest shellfish port in Fraserburgh, the north-east produces half of Scotland’s fish landings.

As a nod to this, Taste of Grampian’s fish market is an integral part of the day, with a magnificent seafood display as its centrepiece.

Several free seafood cookery demonstrations are planned using fish landed within 24 hours of the show.

Visitors can also find a new favourite dish by visiting the many street food venders who will be showing off their wares on the day.

Entry to Taste of Grampian is £8 for adults while children under 16, accompanied by an adult, gain free admission.