North East MasterChef star completes Seaham Food Festival line up

Aug 2, 2023 | Leisure & Lifestyle

From the audience to the stage – the final chef to complete the Seaham Food Festival line-up has now been announced.

The popular seaside event returns on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 August, with visitors able to enjoy two days of fun, entertainment, and delicious food along County Durham’s coastline.

Organisers of the Durham County Council-run festival have revealed that MasterChef 2023 contestant Jonny Stewart, or as he is better known, Jonny Cooks, will be taking to the cookery stage on Saturday 5 August, completing the weekend’s celeb chef line-up.

After securing himself a spot as a contestant on this year’s MasterChef, Jonny went on to cook some impressive dishes where he brought big flavours and innovative ideas.

Jonny, who now lives in Hebburn, was born and raised in County Durham and enjoyed visiting the seaside festival before he became as star on the show.

Jonny said: “I started cooking during lockdown, I wanted to use my spare time and spare money to make a rubbish experience that little bit better. So, I decided to take cooking more seriously. I experimented with cooking and flavours like never before and unlocked a culinary world I would never have otherwise.”

“I then applied for MasterChef after starting my Instagram and used that to catapult me into the forefront of culinary expertise. I found the whole process just simply amazing, the people I met, the laughs I had and the new food experiences I had were second to none. I felt I left with so much more to show and a real passion in my belly to cook for people.”

And now, he is excited to make his debut on the stage at the food festival. He said: “I now run my own food stall and I’m excited to show the people of Seaham exactly what I can do. It’s going to be amazing to be on stage and cooking at a festival I love to attend. I’ve sat where the public have and truly want to inspire the next lot of people to do it. Just like I was.

“Seaham is a special food festival. From being on top of the cliffs overlooking the sea, to trying all of the food available it really is a fantastic event that I am honoured to be a part of.”

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are excited to welcome Jonny back to Seaham Food Festival – this time not in the audience but on our cookery stage.

“Jonny will be joining an already star-studded line-up of chef and bakers who are going to impress and inspire audiences with their unique styles and flavours.

“There is just over a week to go so the countdown is truly on. We can’t wait!”

Seaham Food Festival is just one of the many cultural events taking place in County Durham this year, cementing Durham’s position as the ‘culture county’ and demonstrating the county council’s ongoing commitment to cultural-led regeneration.

This includes delivering key projects within County Durham’s shortlisted UK City of Culture bid; progressing major capital projects and raising the county’s profile as a fantastic place to live, work, visit and invest.

For the latest festival news and announcements, sign up to the newsletter at www.seahamfoodfestival.co.uk or follow @seahamfoodfest on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.