Rockliffe Hall’s fabulous Festival of Food

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Rockliffe Hall executive chef Aaron Craig on why he’s looking forward to the next food fest…

One of the many reasons I was delighted that Rockliffe Hall’s first ever Festival of Food was such a huge success in February this year, is that it means we are going to do it all again in February 2020, and that it will be bigger and better than before.

The Rockliffe team has been busy for months already, planning next year’s event, and we’re looking forward to welcoming some of the North-East and North Yorkshire’s top professional chefs and culinary experts to our eight day festival which starts on Saturday, February 1.

The first weekend will feature the Artisan Food Fair, where our beautiful five star resort will host some of the North’s finest artisan producers.

Last year’s fair was incredibly busy, despite the snow on the first day, and I have great memories of wandering round sampling some of the delicious food and drink on offer on the stalls.

This year’s will be even bigger and we’ve been inundated with suppliers and producers keen to have a stall at the event. It will definitely be worth a visit.

Throughout the rest of the week there’ll be a series of special lunches, afternoon teas, dinners and workshops taking place.

Guest chefs will include Frances Atkins (The Yorke Arms), Terry Laybourne (21 Hospitality), Josh Overington (Le Cochon Aveugle) and Briony Williams (Great British Bake Off). A fabulous selection of talent, I’m sure you’ll agree, and I can’t wait to try their food.

Being a chef, I love the whole festival. I get really excited about meeting new food producers and seeing how they use their products at Rockliffe Hall.

The highlight, for me, will be working with the guest chefs and I’m very much looking forward to linking up with Koppert Cress to showcase plant based cooking at our Vegan night.

It will be a real eye-opener for anyone who sees vegan food as boring. Think again!

Guests are in for a real treat at this event, which will take place on Friday, February 7.

I have been working with Koppert Cress and they are very passionate about the plants they produce and their benefits.

Franck Pontais, the chef from Koppert Cress, is such an expert in this field so this night will not only be about great food but it will be educational too.

Veganism is becoming increasingly popular. So much so that it shouldn’t be considered a trend, but an important change based on knowledge and awareness.

We need to realise that we must alter the way we eat, and chefs need to embrace this. It can be very challenging but it’s something we must offer now in the restaurant as it’s a very big part of our business.

The Vegan night will definitely be a highlight for me at the Festival of Food, but there are so many other interesting events planned. All of which can be found here

I hope to see you there!

Aaron Craig
Executive chef
New Hall and Brasserie, Rockliffe Hall


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