Sandi Thom and James Martin at Taste of Grampian

It's a feat of this year's Taste of Grampian with Sandi Thom taking time out of her touring schedule to appear at the event's first ever Mart Fest.
It's a feat of this year's Taste of Grampian with Sandi Thom taking time out of her touring schedule to appear at the event's first ever Mart Fest.

If music be the food of love why not combine them and satisfy your appetite for both at one great show?

The team at Taste of Grampian are offering visitors the opportunity to do just that this year.

Cookery celebrity chef James Martin who will also be popping into the Motor Show to check out his other love - some classic chassis!

Cookery celebrity chef James Martin who will also be popping into the Motor Show to check out his other love - some classic chassis!

For their latest innovation is an after-show party featuring Sandi Thom and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

The award-winning food and drink festival on Saturday, June 3, is being extended for the first time this year into an evening party, The Mart Fest.

Aptly named after the popular BBC TV series, which is filmed at Thainstone Centre, Inverurie, it will bring an all new dimension to the food festival.

Event chairman John Gregor said: “Every year, we have successfully introduced a new element to Taste of Grampian.

“We expect the new Mart Fest to be hugely popular and a fantastic new addition to the show.

“It will boast a host of entertainment including local bands and street entertainers, with Sandi Thom and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers ending an unforgettable night in the Brewfest Marquee.”

Visitors will have the option of visiting various indoor venues, including a piano bar and acoustic lounge. And, if the weather is nice, the venue will boast an outdoor beer garden too.

Carol Fowler, from event organisers Prime Event Management, said: “We have been planning this for the last few months.

“Not only will there be local breweries, craft spirits and cider producers, but a host of local bands and street entertainers.

“Local street food from companies showcasing during the day at Taste of Grampian and numerous different bars will ensure it’s an evening not be missed.”

Sandi Thom was born in Banff and attended Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen where she spent three years performing in a band from Gourdon called The Residents.

She went on to study at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts as the youngest student ever to be accepted and later graduated with a BA in Performing Arts.

Her debut release single in 2006 was a huge top charting success.

I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in my Hair), topped the UK singles chart in June of that year.

Since then she has released five studio albums and continues to write music. So securing her for the first Mart Fest was a huge coup.

Carol added: “Sandi Thom seemed a natural fit for The Mart Fest thanks to her connections with the area.

“She has been touring all over the world but is making time to be part of our fantastic line-up.

“Tickets have been selling really well for The Mart Fest and we look forward to ending Taste of Grampian 2017 in style.”

Now in its 18th year, Scotland’s largest one-day food festival has secured TV celebrity chef James Martin to entertain with three live cookery demos.

He will also be mingling with guests at the festival as well as signing his latest cook book from the ITV food travel series, French Adventure.

Columnist and BBC wine expert Susy Atkins is hosting two wine masterclasses as well as a local gin masterclass in the Corney and Barrow Wine Marquee.

And Scottish chef Lady Claire Macdonald is doing free cookery demos as is local MasterChef Professional finalist, Brian McLeish.

No matter your tastes, Taste of Grampian will cater for everyone this year with more than 180 exhibitors, demonstrations, food tasting, trendy street food outlets and a dedicated fish market.

And thanks to James Martin’s love of vintage cars, the outdoor Press and Journal/Evening Express Motor Show will also give a nod to this.

For in addition to a host of exhibitors there will also be a vintage and classic car display – and James will be popping in to have a closer looks at the classy chassis!

Tickets for Taste of Grampian are £5 per person. Children under 16 go free.

Tickets for the gin and wine masterclasses start from £12 per person.

Visitors with an entry ticket for Taste of Grampian will receive free entry to Mart Fest which kicks off at 5pm, otherwise it is £10 per person. Car parking is free.

The Mart Fest is family-friendly until 9pm, while over 18s can stay until doors close at 11pm.

For more information or to book tickets for all this year’s events, visit the show website at

Don’t miss the entertainment!

TV presenter James Martin will be hosting two cookery demonstrations using a host of local produce during the day. At 3.30pm he will then team up with his former co-presenter from Saturday Kitchen, wine expert Susy Atkins, for a show finale. Creating someone’s Love or Hate dish, Susy will pair wines to complement it.

Tickets for both James’s cookery demos are £10. The show finale with Susy is priced at £12.

Susy Atkins is weekly columnist for the Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine and is also Drinks Editor for Delicious magazine. When Susy was on Saturday Kitchen she could often be found pairing up wines for celebrities with dishes created on the show. At Taste of Grampian, Susy will be hosting three masterclasses in the Corney and Barrow Wine Marquee.

The first will be at 11.30am for sparkling wine enthusiasts, followed by an artisan local gin masterclass at 1pm. Finally, at 2.15pm, there will be a chance to try out South American wines following Susy’s recent visit to Chile.

Tickets for Susy are £15 for the sparkling wine event and £12 for the gin and wine classes.

That price includes samples and tasting notes for each class.

Taste of Grampian regular, Lady Claire Macdonald will also be hosting a chef’s demo during the day. This free demonstration is sponsored by Specially Selected Pork. Lady Claire will be showcasing the versatility of pork meat and complementing it with local produce from standholders.

In addition to Sandi Thom and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, The Mart Fest will boast a host of entertainment including Catriona Watson, Matt and Cameron, Ruby Mackay Millicent, Daniel Mutch, Nick Innes, Alisdair Sneden, Myke Black, Ed Merchant, Andy Lucas and Harmonica Movement.