Get set to tuck in!

ALNWICK is set to become the culinary capital of the country this weekend as the seventh food extravaganza takes over the town.

With a world-renowned chef, more than 80 exhibitors and stalls and a sprinkling of entertainment Alnwick Food Festival is set to be bigger and better than ever before.

For the first time, Michelin-starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli will be at the event showcasing his talents in two cookery demonstrations in the Northumberland Hall on Saturday, at noon and 3pm.

Tickets for each of his demos will cost £2.50, available from the Information Stall in the Market Place.

And at an intimate event tomorrow night, 100 people will get the chance to Dine with Novelli, eating a three-course meal designed by the French chef using produce available at the festival.

Jean-Christophe is looking forward to his Alnwick debut.

He said: “I’m delighted to be visiting Alnwick and being involved in a fabulous event.

“Northumberland is famous for producing a fantastic range of top quality local produce and I’m looking forward to meeting local producers as well as suppliers during my visit.

“This will be my first visit to Alnwick and I’m aware of the town’s immense history, the wonderful castle and the famous Alnwick Garden.

“This food festival is a well-established event and has become another huge attraction for the town.

“I’m excited to be part of the festival activities and by doing so, helping to further develop its growing reputation and profile.”

Other local chefs will also be demonstrating their talents in the Northumberland Hall throughout Saturday.

And on Saturday night, Alistair Anderson will be performing as part of Taste of Northumbria Night in the Northumberland Hall, with food provided by the town’s Black Olive Cafe.

Tickets for the event, which include a cold buffet and a drink, cost £16.50 and can be purchased at the Tourist Information Centre or by emailing tickets@alnwickfoodfestival.co.uk

Not only will there be food and drink stalls in the Market Place this weekend but there will also be an arts and crafts festival in Bondgate Within alongside Active Living and Northside Surf School.

On Sunday, a community market has been added to the menu with speakers, demonstrations, stalls and activities hosted by community organisations.

And there will also be cook-offs in the Northumberland Hall.

Karen Larkin, festival director, said: “I am very excited about this year’s Food Festival.

Due to the expansion of stalls and incorporating arts and crafts the town will see around 80 exhibitors in all.

“We have set our bench mark very high this year and we hope that people will once again enjoy a fabulous weekend.”