Crowds savour local produce at 20th Taste of Grampian

Thousands of people enjoyed meeting celebrity chefs and sampling local produce as a north-east festival of food marked its 20th anniversary.

The Taste of Grampian event was hailed a huge success over the weekend, with numbers up on last year by around 1,000.

Held at the Thainstone Centre in Inverurie, the popular annual event boasted a mix of celebrity chefs – including John Torode, Spencer Matthews and Gary Maclean of MasterChef fame – along with a showcase of the region’s best food and drink.

John Torode and Spencer Matthews. All images by Kenny Elrick

John Gregor, the event’s chairman, said: “At the heart of the concept is to allow the people of Grampian and the north-east the opportunity to try, taste and buy the produce that’s produced in the area.

“That’s the core concept of the event, and it has been the same all along and is just growing all the time.

“It’s about speaking to the producers, sampling their produce, tasting them and purchasing them as well.”

And the event boss added it had been another successful festival, with attendances up on the previous year.

He said: “It went really well.

“We were blessed with good weather after a very mixed week. It was a great day for the event.

“We had a great audience. The attendance was up significantly on last year, probably up about 1,000 on last year.

“The celebrities were very popular and were good fun.

“It was nice to see new producers there.”

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Around 12,000 people flooded through the gates of the Thainstone Centre for the extravaganza which included cooking demonstrations, drinks masterclasses and street entertainment for all the family.

Visitors were able to browse stalls offering the finest food and drink from more than 180 north-east and Scottish producers.

Throughout the day the Chef’s Theatre gave local chefs the chance to demonstrate their creative cooking and share some culinary tips.

The line-up included Craig Wilson, the Kilted Chef from Eat on the Green, Ross Cochrane from the Rothesay Rooms, and the Chester Hotel’s Kevin Dalgleish.

Youngsters were not left out with an educational marquee and calves, ducks and chickens on hand.

Car enthusiasts were not forgotten about, either, with the North East of Scotland Motor Show showcasing a selection of the latest models as well as classic cars and bikes.