A fine dining festival which has put Aberdeen on the radar of gourmands across the country – and raised over £350,000 for charity – returns to the north east this weekend. Signature at The Chester Hotel gets underway on Sunday (November 3) and will bring a host of world-class chefs to the Granite City.

The curtain will rise with a launch lunch – at which top comedian Jason Manford will perform – with the dessert for the mouthwatering meal created by award-winning chocolatier-pâtissier William Curley.


Signature, which is now in its third year, will run until November 15 and will feature chefs who between them hold a collective six Michelin stars, 19 AA Rosettes and three wins on The Great British Menu.


While the launch lunch will be a grand event in The Chester Hotel’s ballroom, the five-course chef dinners will be a more intimate affair with spaces for just 80 diners. These take place in the hotel’s restaurant, which itself hold two AA Rosettes.


Glynn Purnell – a favourite on cookery shows including Saturday Kitchen and My Kitchen Rules – will get things underway on Monday, with Scottish household name Martin Wishart next to appear. Both have previously taken part in the event, along with seafood specialist Roy Brett and Chez Roux consultant chef Brian Grigor, who host dinners later in the festival.


Phil Howard and Daniel Clifford, who are now both mentors on The Great British Menu, will be appearing at Signature for the first time. While Howard is known for his modern French style of cooking, Clifford’s approach is to reinvent classic British dishes in an imaginative way.


Graham Wood, owner of The Chester Hotel, is the mastermind behind Signature. He said:

“Our own relaxed fine dining restaurant has been packed every weekend since we opened, so we understand that people in the north east have a real appreciation of high-quality cuisine. Signature creates a unique opportunity for people to enjoy exceptional food created by some of the county’s most talented chefs, here in Aberdeen. We always have very positive feedback from the chefs about how much they enjoy coming to the area to cook, not least because of the high-quality ingredients on our doorstep.
“Signature has become one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the foodie calendar, which is underlined by the fact that most dinners were sold out hours after going on sale. We’re all very much looking forward to another memorable festival.”


A charity auction will take place during Signature, which is expected to add a significant amount to the total already raised for good causes. This year, funds will go towards Friends of the Neonatal Unit in Aberdeen and The Parkinson’s Cure Trust. Guest chef Martin Wishart will be setting out on a 3,500-mile Atlantic sailing challenge in aid of the charity just days after his Signature appearance.


For more information about Signature, visit www.signaturefoodfestival.co.uk


The Chester Hotel


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