• Tue. Dec 5th, 2023

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub


THREE of the North’s most esteemed chefs have unveiled their menus for a unique new dining experience at this year’s Hardwick Live.

The region’s biggest live music festival takes place at Hardwick Hall at Sedgefield, County Durham on Saturday and Sunday 18 and 19 August, and this year organisers have launched four new pop-up feasting experiences.

The two-day event will open on Saturday with Indie favourites Kaiser Chiefs leading a star-studded line up including Vintage Trouble, Ash, and Jake Shears.

And on Sunday, the legendary Happy Mondays will lead a packed programme including Shed Seven, Feeder, Echo & the Bunnymen and Melanie C.

Along with the music and other entertainment such as live DJ sets and children’s activities, organisers have now added the all-new feasting experiences featuring top local chefs Terry Laybourne, Marcus Bennett and Chris Finnigan.

The chefs will each take their turn to prepare a three-course meal in a feasting marquee, showing off their skills in a 30-minute cooking demonstration before the food is served up to ticket-holding guests, along with a glass of Taittinger Champagne.

Marcus Bennett of Cena Trattoria in Yarm and the Bay Horse in Hurworth, near Darlington, will be the first chef to step into the spotlight as he prepares a three-course Italian feast on Saturday lunchtime.

The starter will be Tuscan herb calamari with sautéed chillies, green peppers, spring onions and garlic allio, followed by a main course of basil and spinach reginette, garden peas, pancetta, poached egg, sautéed onion parmesan cream.

Dessert will be a strawberry and white chocolate sundae, macerated strawberries, vanilla ice cream and amaretto crumb.

Marcus will return in time for dinner as he creates another delicious feast of dishes from The Bay Horse, opening this time with Whitby crab, melon ketchup, melon jelly, smoked trout cigar, brown crab mousse and green aioli.

The main course will be salted slow-cooked beef with duck fat roasted carrots, carrot puree, green colcannon, mushroom duxelle and red wine jus, with a dessert of caramelised clotted cream rice pudding, infused summer berries, blackberry ripple ice cream and ginger biscuit crumb.

On Sunday, a three-course lunch will be cooked and demonstrated by Chris Finnigan, who will be taking up the role of head chef at The Impeccable Pig when it opens in Sedgefield later this summer.

Opening with a queen scallop gratin, Chris will then showcase Impeccable Pork Belly, featuring slow roasted pork with bubble and squeak, roast carrots, apple and star anise puree and scrumpy gravy.

For dessert, he will prepare a chocolate delice with hazelnut ice cream and salted caramel sauce.

Finally, Terry Laybourne, the man behind Newcastle’s successful 21 Hospitality Group, will close the series when he heads into the marquee to prepare some of his award-winning dishes for dinner.

His starter will be cedar-grilled salmon with fennel mayonnaise and cucumber ahead of a main course of seven-hour shoulder of lamb, Provençale potatoes, green beans, olives and tomatoes.

The experience will end with a dessert of Pavlova, peaches, raspberries and cream.

Admission to all four dining experiences will be by advance ticket only, and will include a glass of Taittinger. Tickets for both lunch events are £30 each and £35 for the evening feasts.

John Adamson, managing director of Ramside Estates which runs Hardwick Live, excited about this new addition to the programme.

“We are looking forward to welcoming three of the region’s finest chefs to our brand new feasting events at this year’s Hardwick Live,” he said.

“We wanted to offer those concert-goers who enjoy fine dining the opportunity to take some time out from the music and entertainment and enjoy award-winning food and Champagne, and these four special events will provide a unique chance to enjoy fine food cooked by some of the industry’s biggest names.”

Tickets for the feasting events are priced at £30 each for the lunchtime sessions and £35 for evening dinner. These must be purchased in advance in addition to festival tickets.

Festival-goers will also be able to purchase food and drinks from various food stalls featuring a variety of cuisines including Chinese, Thai, Mexican, Caribbean, Indian, burgers, falafels, fish and chips and hog roast along with vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options.

For tickets and further information, visit the website: www.hardwicklive.co.uk