25 May 2021

A NORTH EAST food event is serving up local talent, with a series of online demonstrations next month.

The popular Sunderland Food and Drink Fest, organised by Sunderland BID and Sunderland City Council, returns with a variety of online and socially distanced events taking place throughout June.

And those hoping to learn something new in the kitchen can gain valuable expertise from some of Sunderland’s top food experts, including Fat Loss Feast’s Joe Sexton and The Funky Indian Wali’s Nedhi Chera.

Personal trainer Joe specialises in creating healthy recipes without compromising on flavour and has encouraged thousands of people to lead a more active lifestyle through his popular videos and workouts.

Last year he built the Fat Loss Feast studio to expand his live streams, with many of his recipe videos going viral around the world and Sunderland foodies can tune in to see him in action at 10 am on Saturday 5t June live on Facebook.

Nedhi Chera is another of the city’s chefs on the line up and she will be leading a live cooking demonstration on 6 June at 10am, showcasing authentic Indian cuisine.

Budding chefs can learn how to cook tandoori paneer tikka and loaded Punjabi doritos chaat, with a special spice mix available for £10 on The Funky Indian Wali website for those who want to cook along at home.

The event will also cater for vegan diners, with Houghton le Spring bakery, Blackberries Patisserie, joining on Friday 18th June at 7pm to demonstrate how to create a delicious vegan dessert, and other local businesses taking part include Spentgrain, Katie’s Garden and LayWawa.

And the Sunderland Food and Drink Fest will also welcome some big names to the city, including acclaimed French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, popular tv chef Rustie Lee, Great British Bake Off finalist Alice Fevronia and Stefan Gates, of CBBC’s Gastronuts.

Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive at Sunderland BID, is confident there’s something for everyone across the month.

“We have an amazing food and drink scene in the city so it was really important to us that the festival shines a spotlight on the incredible talent here in Sunderland,” she said.

“We have a really broad programme of events planned, both out and about and to watch at home, with even more still to be announced.

“We hope the event will encourage people in Sunderland to try something out of their comfort zone, along with showing their support to the fantastic local businesses we have on our doorstep.”

Councillor Linda Williams, Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet Member for Vibrant City, added: “The food and drink scene across Sunderland has always been vibrant and exciting and it is fantastic to see so much homegrown talent involved in the Food and Drink Fest.

“We hope that people really get behind our local businesses after a challenging year for many and enjoy the wide variety of food and drink we have on offer in our city.”

The spice mixes for The Funky Indian Wali event can be purchased from

For further information on the festival, visit or