The man who introduced the stir-fry to British kitchens was star guest in the Northallerton store on Sunday [October 2] when he gave a demonstration of his culinary skills.

Some 150 customers turned up to see him sizzle with a wok in the Barkers Home Cook, Wine and Dine department.

The Northallerton store is among the official stockists of Ken Hom Cookware, so were able to secure an appearance by the veteran chef at their new-look lifestyle and home store, which underwent a major £3.5million redevelopment six months ago.

Julie Poynton, buyer for the Cook, Wine and Dine department, said: “The event was a huge success and our customers were thrilled to see such a big name in the store.

“He is a world-famous cook so to have him giving a demonstration of his skills was a fantastic way to celebrate our revamp of Barkers Home.

“When we were creating the new-look store, it was our aim to host cookery demonstrations, so this was a fantastic way of celebrating the new-look store.”

The guest appearance was a rare opportunity for cookery fans to see the USA-based chef, who limits his number of personal appearances.

Tickets sold out in a week, so there was standing room only for customers to watch.

The expansion of Barkers Home was the biggest investment by Barkers, who also have the eponymous department store on Northallerton High Street.

The store was expanded by 20,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet – almost an acre- and-a- half – to create a section for contemporary furniture, gifts, bigger linens department, new cook, wine and dine section, while there was also a revamp of the first-floor bedroom furniture and soft furnishings section.

Barkers Home employs 60 staff, after the expansion created an extra 15 full and part-time jobs.