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Bite Back Festival: great food for a great cause

A food festival for a good cause. Bite Back Festival at Wylam Brewery this June will include 15 acclaimed chefs from around the UK offering tasters of their iconic dishes, all in aid of Cancer Research UK.

15 chefs, 15 iconic dishes to try and all in the name of Cancer Research; count us in!

Bite Back Festival is coming to Wylam Brewery on Sunday 9 June from 12pm-5pm. It’s the brainchild of Siân Byerley, co-owner and Restaurant Manager at Restaurant Pine.

What inspired the event?

“I was inspired by our friend Sir Brendan Foster CBE, the founder of the Great North Run. I just thought, why can’t we do something like that in the hospitality field? And now that’s exactly what we’re aiming to do,” says Siân.


Siân Byerley, co-owner and Restaurant Manager at Restaurant Pine. Image courtesy Joe Taylor Photographer.

“I had the idea and discussed it with Ian, our Head Chef, in the pub. He immediately wanted to do it for Cancer Research. I think cancer touches us all in some way and Ian’s Uncle has been very poorly with it recently.”

“Once we were set on the idea I gave Cancer Research a call to talk through the idea and they loved it. I am now on the board for Business Beats Cancer Newcastle and getting involved with lots of fundraising activities.”

“I like doing good and giving back. Bite Back will raise money for Cancer Research while also helping to highlight the North East as an exciting food destination at the same time,” explains Siân.

“There’s 15 chefs generously giving their time to make the event happen. We’ve met most of them through the Michelin events – Restaurant Pine was admitted into the Michelin guide in their first year with a star and green star – or Great British Menu – Cal is set to represent the North East and Yorkshire in the Great British Menu finals later in the year. We couldn’t be more excited about the line up, there’s going to be so many great dishes to try!”

The chefs

Tom Shepherd from Upstairs, Lichfield

Ian Waller from Restaurant Pine, Vallum Farm

Ryan Blackburn from The Old Stamp House, Ambleside

Nathan Davies from SY23, West Wales

Cal Byerly, from Restaurant Pine, Vallum Farm

Kenny Atkinson from House of Tides and Solstice

Josh Overington from Restaurant Mýse, York

Pamela Brunton from Inver, Loch Fyne

Kevin Tickle from Heft, High Newton

Alex Nietsvuori from Hjem, Hexham

Nieves Barragan from Sabor, London

Kevin Brown from The Fat Duck, Bray

Paul Leonard from The Forest Side, Grasmere

David Taylor from Grace and Savour, Hampton Manor

Tommy Banks from The Black Swan at Oldstead

What can we expect?

The event will be held at Wylam Brewery and dishes will be served as starter size tasters of some of the chefs iconic dishes. There will be sweet and savoury options, vegetarian and meat-focussed.

Tokens will be available in advance and one £6 token is one dish to try – around six tokens per person should do it but of course you can buy more or less depending on your appetite and need to try the dishes.

This is your chance to try some seriously inventive food for a great price – you’ll even be able to try Cal’s Game. Set. Match. 10/10 dessert from the recent Great British Menu regional heats.

Cal’s 10/10 Great British Menu dessert – Game. Set. Match. Image courtesy of Optomen Television.

“We don’t want to reveal too much but we have heard rumours that Tom might just make his famous Desperate Dan’s Cow Pie – the dish that starred as the main course in the 2023 Great British Menu banquet. Ian from Restaurant Pine will be going for his beetroot and Doddington’s Cheddar cheddar dish – a firm favourite on our menu and Kevin Brown, Head Development Chef at The Fat Duck will be recreating one of Heston’s most iconic dishes – we can’t wait to find out which one!”

Bite Back Festival | Sunday 9 June | 12-5pm | Wylam Brewery 


April 9, 2024

  • Lifestyle

Created by Sian Anderson