Jean Christophe Novelli and Bake Off finalist join menu at Sunderland festival

Jean Christophe Novelli will be making a virtual visit to Sunderland this summer to whip up some culinary classics and chat about his life and work.

The French chef will be taking part again in Sunderland Food and Drink Festival where he was a star attraction in 2019 when he visited for the event’s pre-Covid debut.

But this time his appearance will be part of the online programme, taking place in June, which also will include Great British Bake Off finalist Alice Fevronia and cooking legend Rustie Lee.

Novelli will host some cook-along sessions and take part in a special event which will see him talk about his life and answer people’s questions.

Alice Fevronia was a finalist on the Great British Bake Off in 2019
Alice Fevronia was a finalist on the Great British Bake Off in 2019

Rustie Lee will be hosting classes while another TV favourite, CBBC Gastronuts’ Stefan Gates, will be helping entertain children by serving up virtual sessions combining cooking and science.

The festival will run between June 1 and June 27 and will also involve some small socially-distanced live events, local restaurants and other cooks as well as attractions which have yet to be announced but will include one involving community cake-decorating.

Festival organisers Sunderland BID and Sunderland City Council hope that the festival will help boost the local food and drink scene which has been hard hit by the impact of the pandemic.

Sharon Appleby, chief executive of Sunderland BID, said: “The Food and Drink Festival was a huge success in 2019 but then it had to be cancelled last year because of Covid-19.

“Although we can’t bring it back just yet in the same format, we have put together a really exciting programme with something for everyone to enjoy – even if it is in their own homes.”

More details about the festival will be unveiled in coming days. Keep an eye out here.

Chronicle Live – Sunderland