Sunday chefs announced for Seaham Food Festival

The full celebrity line up for Seaham Food Festival has been confirmed with the announcement of the final chefs who will be taking to the cookery stage.

The Durham County Council-run festival will return to Seaham’s coastline on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 August, with two days featuring food from the region’s traders, as well as family entertainment and demonstrations from a star-studded line up of celebrity chefs.

Organisers recently confirmed that TV chefs Rosemary Shrager, Phil Vickery and Bishop Auckland’s Mike Bartley will appear at the cookery theatre on Saturday, accompanied by Chris Bavin who will be hosting.

These stars will be followed by world-renowned chocolatier Paul Young, who will be giving a cookery demonstration to festivalgoers on the Sunday.

Paul young

Paul has been named one of the world’s finest master chocolatiers since opening his first chocolatery in 2006. He is known for his innovation, creative flavour combinations and his approachable way of making chocolate part of anyone’s cooking repertoire.

Growing up in Trimdon Station, Paul trained to be a chef at New College Durham where he fell in love with baking and all things sweet. He has worked in several restaurants including in Whitby, Leeds, and at Marco Pierre White’s and La Rascasse in London.

Paul was a regular chef on Great/Good Food Live with UKTV Food with subsequent appearances on This Morning, Alan Titchmarsh, Sunday Brunch, Saturday Kitchen, The Apprentice, Blue Peter, The Sweet Makers, Snack Masters, and Top Chef US

Paul has four books: Adventures with Chocolate, Sensational Chocolate, How to Make Chocolates and The Joy of Chocolate.

In 2022 Paul launched Chocolate at Home, a one-to-one hands-on masterclass from his home kitchen teaching all the fundamentals of chocolate making. 

Joining Paul on Sunday is recent Great British Bake Off finalist Josh Smalley, who captivated audiences with his impressive array of showstoppers and attention to detail.

With a doctorate in chemistry, Josh loves to combine his culinary creations with an insight into the science behind them, showing how everyone can be a scientist.

Josh also has a strong passion for gardening and is a big advocate of cooking with seasonal produce. He maintains a large kitchen garden at his home, growing everything from the weird to the wonderful, using all his produce to flavour his cooking delights.

Closing off the weekend is former MTV Dirty Sanchez frontman Matt Pritchard.

matt pritchard

Matt has left his pranking days behind for his love of vegan food, health, and fitness. His cooking series, Dirty Vegan, premiered on BBC1 Wales, coinciding with his vegan cookbook of the same name. Matt released a second book, Dirty Vegan: Another Bite, which was followed by a second instalment of the TV series, encouraging the public to try out Veganuary and lead healthier lifestyles.

Matt has a busy few months ahead with the release of his new cookbook ‘Dirty Vegan, Fast and Easy’ and his new training supplement ‘Sleep When You Are Dead’.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are pleased to announce the remaining celebrity chefs for Seaham Food Festival. As you can see, we have an excellent line up this year with diverse demonstrations that are not to be missed.

“Seaham Food Festival is not just about celebrating the fantastic produce made here in County Durham and the wider North East, but about showcasing the cookery talents to come out of the region, such as Paul and Mike. We are really looking forward to welcoming both back to Seaham, as with all our fantastic chefs in this year’s line up.”

More information about Seaham Food Festival, including further announcements, can be found at

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