Three stars of MasterChef and Great British Bake Off are among the first celebrity chefs announced to headline a popular seaside food festival this summer.

Seaham Food Festival returns on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 August, bringing back a sensational line up of food and drink traders, family entertainment and live music to the County Durham coastline.

The Durham County Council-run festival will feature its signature open air cookery theatre, where a host of well-known faces will be enticing audiences with mouth-watering cookery demonstrations across the two days.

The first celebrity chef announced for Saturday’s cookery stage is MasterChef 2023 Champion Eddie Scott.

Eddie overcome fierce competition to fulfil a lifelong cooking ambition of becoming MasterChef UK Champion, where he got to showcase his signature style.

Eddie grew up in a family who loved to cook great food. Childhood summer holidays were spent touring around France and it was on these adventures that Eddie discovered his love of classic regional French cuisine.

Eddie’s cooking is also inspired by his family’s Indian, Punjabi heritage. His grandparents, both skilled cooks taught him the basics of Punjabi cuisine and the art of cooking with spice. You will often find an exciting Indian twist in his classically inspired food.

Since MasterChef, Eddie has left behind a successful career as a marine pilot to embark on a new and exciting life in food, having worked at The Pipe and Glass in Beverley and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London.

Eddie will be joined on the Saturday by Great British Bake Off 2022 winner Syabira Yusoff.

During her time in the tent, Syabira surprised and delighted the judges with her unusual flavour combinations and imaginative bakes.

Syabira moved to the UK ten years ago from Malaysia to pursue a PhD in Genetics and Genome Biology at the University of Leicester.

Her experience as a researcher and her scientific knowledge helps her to understand the physics and chemistry of baking. She loves to experiment in the kitchen, working out the most exciting flavour combinations.

And for budding vegan bakers, Freya Cox, will also be taking to the cookery stage.

Twenty-one-year-old Freya has a passion for vegan baking which she showcased last year as the Great British Bake Off’s first ever vegan contestant.

Having dreamed of entering the tent from the first series, her hope is that she’ll show the British public that delicious baking can be plant based.

Her first recipe book ‘Simply Vegan Baking’ was published last year with the mission of showing that vegan baking can be just as delicious, if not more so, than ‘regular’ baking.

And they’ll be joined by crowd favourite and TV presenter Chris Bavin, who returns as host.

Chris co-presents BBC One’s popular series Eat Well for Less? alongside Jordan Banjo and is a regular on The One Show.

He’s also presented Tomorrow’s Food with Dara O’Brian, Food: Truth or Scare with Gloria Hunniford, and was a judge on Britain’s Best Home Cook with Mary Berry.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economy and partnerships, said: “We are now in the 10-week countdown to Seaham Food Festival and are thrilled to be able to announce the first famous faces set to inspire audiences with their unique cooking styles when they take to our cookery stage.

“More celebrity guests are set to be announced very soon, along with details of food traders, family entertainment, and cookery workshops.

“As 2023 has been designated as Year of the Coast, we are really excited this year to shine a light on our stunning coastline, promoting all it has to offer as a thriving visitor destination.”

Seaham Food Festival is just one of the many cultural events taking place in County Durham this year, cementing Durham’s position as the ‘culture county’ and demonstrating the county council’s ongoing commitment to cultural-led regeneration.

This includes delivering key projects within County Durham’s shortlisted UK City of Culture bid; progressing major capital projects and raising the county’s profile as a fantastic place to live, work, visit and invest.

For the latest festival news and announcements, sign up to the newsletter at www.seahamfoodfestival.co.uk or follow @seahamfoodfest on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.