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EAT! NewcastleGateshead tickets go on sale

17th May 2011

Categories: Latest News


EAT! NewcastleGateshead tickets go on sale

Tickets for the tastiest festival in NewcastleGateshead go on sale from Friday 13 May (10am) as EAT! NewcastleGateshead returns for another ten days of mouthwatering foodie events.

Now celebrating its fifth year, EAT! NewcastleGateshead champions local food producers, restaurants and culinary talent in North East England through a programme of unique events ranging from restaurants in people’s homes, an edible map of the North of England and the biggest city-based food event in the UK – The Big EAT!

Carol Bell, Head of Culture and Major Events for NewcastleGateshead Initiative said: “EAT! continues to attract visitors to the region and helps raise the profile of NewcastleGateshead nationally and internationally as a leading cultural destination.  EAT! celebrates its fifth year in 2011 and we’re expecting thousands of people across the 10 day event.”

Simon Preston, Festival Director for EAT! NewcastleGateshead said: “EAT! stands out from other food festivals because its helps people see food in a new way.  Food should be an enjoyable experience and that’s something we encourage throughout the festival.

 “Across the ten days of EAT! we will celebrate the food, people and places of NewcastleGateshead and North East England.”


To celebrate its fifth birthday, EAT! is having a launch party like no other.  MasterChef: The Professionals  finalists,  John Calton and Dave Coulson, will be cooking at the event which takes place on Friday 17 June at the famous Stephenson Building in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The EAT! 2011 Launch Party celebrates the awards and successes in the North East food and drink industry over the past 12 months.  The event will include an Oyster Bar, sumptuous buffets and barbeques prepared by John Calton and Dave Coulson and to wash that all down, 25 local beers and 10 ciders on tap as well as local wines and cocktails.  A special EAT! birthday cake will be unveiled with prizes going to the first 50 people to guess the secret ingredient.

EAT! NewcastleGateshead’s first weekend kicks off in spectacular style with The Big EAT! (Sat 18-Sun 19June), the biggest city-based food even in the UK.  This free two day event features authentic international street food markets, cooking demonstrations, food producer talks and tastings as well as the all new EAT! Hub and Miniature Edible Garden Show.  Popular favourites make a welcome return including the Wine Festival and Fish Festival on the Newcastle Quayside which will see a local fishing boat sail up the River Tyne to deliver the fresh morning’s catch.

Add some spice to your life with the Chilli & Beer Festival or satisfy your sweet tooth with the Chocolate Festival which includes guest appearances from some of the UK’s finest chocolate artisans.  A Food Heroes Tasting Market will feature 60 of the best food and drink producers from the North East all competing to win the coveted EAT! Gold Award celebrating the best produce on show. 

The Big EAT! weekend will also see the return of Masterchef: The Professionals star John Calton who will be hosting cooking demonstrations on Sunday 19 June where members of the public can come along and learn some tricks of the trade and some special hints that helped propel John to the TV show final.

The Big EAT! also sees the culmination of Adopt a School & Design a Salad (Sat 18 June).  In the lead up to the festival, six chefs from NewcastleGateshead teamed-up with Let’s Get Cooking primary school cooking clubs to show children how to experience and enjoy food using the five senses and four tongue tastes (sweet, sour, salt and bitter.)  With their new skills, each team of young cooks will then produce a salad recipe which will be prepared live at The Big EAT! weekend.  A winning team will be crowned Adopt a School Top Salad Design champion.

Outside of The Big EAT! weekend, FOUND (throughout the festival) offers up a series of foraging tours where you can discover what food delights are hiding under your feet.  The half day tours uncover the wonder of nature’s free larder and help you eat for free.  An expert forager will unveil the wealth of fare in our woodlands, urban landscapes and wilderness, including a stop at a local pub or restaurant for wild refreshments. 


EAT! NewcastleGateshead is offering-up some great main courses if the starters left you hungry for more.  £at 20.11 (Wed 1 June- Sun 3 July) will see some of the best restaurants in NewcastleGateshead provide a special Festival three course prix fixe menu at the bargain price of £20.11.  For a list of participating restaurants, please visit

If dining out is not your thing, Secret Paladares (Tues 21-Sat 25 June) returns with more guerrilla restaurants opening in homes across NewcastleGateshead. These unique dining experiences will see themed dishes including authentic international recipes from around the world, sustainable fish, traditional ‘lost’ dishes and menus for people with special dietary requirements, all cooked from the comfort of your host’s home.  There’s even a special event called Dog’s Dinner for people who want to bring along their canine friends.  The location of the 15 restaurants will remain top secret until the day of the meal. 

The Great North Eco-Art Feast (Sat 26 June) is perfect for foodies and artist alike.  The environmentally friendly feast is inspired by the depiction of food in famous artworks and celebrates the cooking prowess of best selling cookery writer Hannah Glasse, author of The Art of Cookery, first published in 1747.  In keeping with the theme of the evening, guests are asked to arrive in environmentally friendly ways - by public transport, bike or foot before enjoying the magnificent feast.  There will also be a plentiful supply of local beer and frolicsome entertainment.  The only catch is, no waste is allowed, so guests are advised to bring empty bellies or deep pockets!

The Artisan House Party (throughout the festival) provides all you need to throw the perfect party.  You bring the guests and EAT! provides the rest - think ‘Tupperware’ parties for the 21st Century.  Hosts are given starter kits full of recipes, tools and tips for the ultimate artisan cooking party before your chosen artisan, expert bakers, butchers, brewers and more, arrive to teach your party members some tricks of the trade.  Specific children parties will also be on offer.


If you still have room for dessert, Cakebook (North) is the perfect menu choice.  Following 2010’s groundbreaking event which saw members of the public create 100 iconic buildings in NewcastleGateshead out of cake, Cakebook (North) is setting its sights on the North of England.  In a unique partnership with the National Trust, Cakebook (North) will see landmark heritage structures and places across Northern England modeled out of cake.  A number of National Trust properties in the area will be included.

The online mass-participation event will culminate in a public celebration at National Trust property Gibside on Sunday 26 June where a giant edible map of the area will be created.  The event will also feature food stalls and live entertainment throughout the afternoon.  For more information please visit


To end your meal, why not finish it with a movie?  EAT! Along Movies (throughout the festival) will see local restaurateurs serve movie-goers food simultaneously as it appears on screen.  Movies include: Julie and Julia and Like Water for Chocolate. 


EAT! NewcastleGateshis proud to announce its partnership with Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust , one of the largest mental health and learning disability NHS trusts in England, on this special project.

With levels of ill health and obesity increasing in the UK, EAT! will be raising awareness of the physical and emotional benefits of healthy eating by working with 30 people currently undergoing treatment for mental health issues. 

The project will encourage greater knowledge and understanding of food and cooking, focusing on low cost recipes that are healthy but also taste great.  Culminating in the production of a special cook book that will be given to future patients, the participants will work with local chefs to write, make and photograph their ideas, cooking tips and recipes.  The Tastes Good, Feels Great Cookbook Project will also see the participants take part in The Big EAT! weekend where members of the public can enjoy their cooking.


EAT! NewcastleGateshead takes place from Friday 17 – Sunday 26 June 2011.  Tickets for all events can be purchased from the EAT! NewcastleGateshead website,, or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21.


For further information, interview requests, images etc, please contact David Brookbanks, Media & PR Manager for NewcastleGateshead Initiative on 0191 440 5740 / 07946 581 417 or email


EAT! NewcastleGateshead is developed and produced by NewcastleGateshead Initiative as part of its festivals and events programme.

EAT! is funded by Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council and Northern Rock Foundation. For further details see

The Big EAT! Weekend is sponsored by NE1, the Business Improvement District Company, as part of their Alive After Five campaign, for more information see

Simon Preston is a freelance food consultant. For further details see


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