We chat to Gino D’Acampo as he returns to the food festival scene in Yorkshire, plus other events not to miss across the county in July
Land of Iron
Based in Skinningrove, close to the historic fishing port of Staithes, why not take some time to explore the Land of Iron, a brand-new interactive visitor experience for all ages. There, you can discover Britain’s Iron Valley and the story of the people who powered it. This unique, independent museum holds a fascinating history, promoting the rich ironstone heritage of East Cleveland. From here, iron was dispatched worldwide to construct railways and bridges, including Australia’s Sydney Harbour Bridge and Newcastle’s Tyne Bridge. Land of Iron is the only museum in the world to be based on the site of an original ironstone mine.
Within these Walls
Until 17 September
Dales Countryside Museum
Artist Hester Cox has collaborated with the Dales Countryside Museum to portray the abundant but ‘ephemeral and fragile’ life of traditionally-managed upland hay meadows. This special exhibition brings together eight years’ worth of her work, including a series of new, Marie Hartley-inspired linocuts depicting the flowers, insects and birds of three meadows near her home in Horton-in-Ribblesdale. The joy of swallows’ flight as they gobble insects over tall flowers and grasses is captured in the linocut for May, while in July a curlew watches her chicks among rows of hay.
The Piece Hall
Hozier has announced a headline show at The Piece Hall in Halifax. The Grammy Award-nominated and multi-platinum-selling Irish troubadour heads to the historic Yorkshire venue on Sunday 2 July. Recognised as one of the foremost songwriters of our generation, his thought-provoking self-titled debut album included the quintuple-platinum anthem Take Me To Church. Since then he’s amassed more than 22 billion global streams, numerous platinum album certifications as well as multiple award nominations and wins.
6 July-5 August
The annual Millennium Square’s Summer Series returns with 16 open-air gigs featuring world-renowned and emerging acts. Set against the stunning backdrop of Leeds Civic Hall in the heart of the city centre, the annual ticketed series will showcase an eclectic programme of events, catering to every musical taste. As well as boasting headline gigs from Kasabian, Blossoms, Bastille, Nile Rodgers featuring CHIC, The Levellers and many more, this year’s programme will also see the return of Leeds Ska & Mod Festival, 80s Classical, Club Classical Anthems, Brutus Gold’s Love Train and the Popworld Festival.
Anna Hibiscus’ Song
This is the story of a young girl named Anna Hibiscus. Anna lives in amazing Africa. Ibadan, Nigeria to be exact. Anna Hibiscus is so filled with happiness that she feels like she might float away. And the more she talks to her family about it, the more her happiness grows. There’s only one thing to do… sing! Told through music, dance, puppetry and traditional African storytelling, this theatrical adaptation of Atinuke’s much loved children’s book will have you beaming from ear to ear.
Pontefract Liquorice Festival
It’s time to satisfy your sweet tooth as the Pontefract Liquorice Festival returns on Sunday 9 July 2023 – and what a bumper crop it is this year. Enjoy non-stop street entertainment and live music whilst exploring the renowned food and drink market. Expect tasty treats to tempt the taste buds and quirky gifts that you just won’t find anywhere else.
Heathers The Musical
Following two smash hit West End seasons, Heathers The Musical is back on tour. This black comedy rock musical is based on the eponymous 1988 film. Westerberg High’s Veronica Sawyer is just another nobody dreaming of a better day. But when she joins the beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers and her dreams of popularity may finally come true, mysterious teen rebel JD teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it is murder being a somebody.
Balance and Form
Until 22 October
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Yorkshire Sculpture Park’s (YSP) latest exhibition will bring together the complementary practices of exquisite woodworkers, Takahashi McGil, and the intuitive printmaking talent of Holmfirth-based artist, Emma Lawrenson. With Takahashi McGil based in Devon and Emma Lawrenson firmly rooted in Yorkshire, the traditional north south divide has been dismantled in this latest artistic collaboration.
Taste of Italy
Gino D’Acampo on returning to the Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival from 21-23 July on Funkirk Farm, Skipton
Where did your passion for food come from?
My passion for food came from the women in my family. When I was younger, I used to watch and help my mum, aunties and grandmother in the kitchen as much as I could, whilst they would prepare family meals. The pride they put into each dish is what really inspired me to become a chef. They taught me early that the most important element to making any good meal was to respect your ingredients and keep it simple – I still cook with that philosophy today.
What are your favourite ingredients to cook with?
My favourite ingredients to cook with would of course be Italian ones, like pasta, balsamic vinegar, good extra virgin olive oil, buffalo mozzarella… There are so many, which give you a host of options in the kitchen. Although, the main guide I follow when I look for ingredients to cook with is if they are fresh, local and in-season. If all of these are met and you keep your cooking simple – it is very difficult to make a bad dish.
How does it feel being part of the biggest food and drink festival in the UK?
I can’t wait… I haven’t performed at a food festival in a long time, and I am really looking forward to doing it again. There is something about cooking live in front of all those people that makes me really excited. To do it at the biggest food and drink festival in the UK – well that’s just the cherry on the cake.
If you had to choose, what would be your favourite Yorkshire dish and why?
It would have to be sausage in the hole. Or is it toad in the hole? I can’t remember… Why? Because it sounds great!
You came to the festival in 2018, what has brought you back to the festival this year?
I loved how family orientated the festival was. Family and food go hand in hand so I think it is the perfect combination of what a food and drink festival should be. I can remember there being lots of variety too, with the food, people and activities – which made it feel very welcoming. The last time I went was 5 years ago, so I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again and putting on a fun show.
How does it feel cooking in a big top in the middle of a field in front of over 1,000 people?
It feels great! I always like my cooking demonstrations to be as entertaining and engaging as possible, and I like to involve the crowd as much as possible. They are not just there to see me cook; they are there to have fun too. Now, cooking in a field is different – but I like the challenge.