CELEBRITY chef, Gennaro Contaldo, is to join Saturday Kitchen’s, James Martin, and Irish TV chef and author, Rachel Allen, at the Lowry Outlet Food Festival 2014.

From May 24-26, more than 100 food and drink stalls will be stationed on the centre’s plaza and the MediaCityUK piazza, while the famous chefs host a series of hands-on live cookery demonstrations, where food enthusiasts can pick up tips and recipe ideas from the experts.

And Gennaro, mentor to Jamie Oliver and star of Two Greedy Italians, cannot wait for the festival to begin.

The Italian-born chef told Messenger: “It’s my first one and I can’t wait, I’m so excited to cook with all these fantastic people.

“I can’t wait to visit all the lovely food stalls and see such beautiful, beautiful people.”

Credited as the man who taught Jamie Oliver all he knows about Italian cooking, Gennaro regularly appears on Oliver’s food programmes and the two are business partners, with Gennaro taking an active role in the Jamie’s Italian chain.

Involvement in the restaurants takes him all over the country, including Manchester, which the former Passione restaurant owner greatly enjoys.

“I’ve been to many different parts of the country and they’re so passionate about their region, which is incredible and this is what it’s all about.

“When I go to country pubs I like to see proper regional, locally-sourced food, what you find is a lot of them serve Thai or lasagne or French food and I get very upset, I say ‘look I don’t want this’.

“My favourite British dish is shepherd’s pie, I absolutely love it,” he enthused.

The Greedy Italian cites local ingredients as one of the reasons he is so excited about the food festival and said he will visit the stalls and check out their produce before he starts cooking.

For more information or to book tickets for the celebrity chef demonstrations, visit lowryoutlet.co.uk.