A POPULAR village market welcomed a top celebrity chef to mark its official opening.
Nigel Smith cut the ribbon at Elswick’s Artisan Food and Farmers’ Market on Saturday – and chatted to residents and stall-holders about the successful venture.
The market, held in the village hall, raises funds for the hall and has attracted hundreds of visitors in its first three months.
Parish councillor Mark Reed, who helped organise the market, said: “We were delighted that Nigel opened our farmers’ market.
“He is a very talented chef, at the top of his profession and shares a passion, as our market does, for high quality and great tasting produce.”
During his time at the market Nigel spoke to a packed village hall about the importance of local food, and sampled the wares on offer at the stalls.
Steve Oates, from Thai Delicious, said: “It was wonderful to meet Nigel and see his enthusiasm about food and local produce.
“As a new business it was great to take advice from a professional, like Nigel, who has given us ideas on directions that we can take our food and business”.
The market brings together artisan and traditional farmers’ market produce, as well as plant and herb stalls.
It is held on the fourth Saturday of every month in Elswick Village Hall between 9am and 1pm, and Audrey Fowler, chairman of the village hall committee, added: “It’s great to see so many people use the market and is an asset for the locality.
“For me what is special about the market is that it is run on a charitable basis to raise funds for the upkeep of the village hall, which is a lifeline for many residents.”