ON Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29, the Malton Food Lovers Festival returns for its eighth year.

As festival director I am delighted to give Gazette & Herald readers a sneak preview and explain what’s new, what's exiting and what's not to miss.

Top of the bill are, of course, the fantastic chef demonstrations. This year we are delighted to welcome back the irrepressible and irresistible Rosemary Shrager.

Fresh from her hilarious Indian adventures, the Real Exotic Marigold Hotel star will be cooking a series of amazing dishes using Yorkshire ingredients with spices from her travels. Expect laughs aplenty from this amazing lady, a British institution in the making.

Also on the demo stage will be the brilliant and influential Telegraph food writer Rose Prince, who will give festival attendees a sneak peak from her new book on entertaining, not out for release until 2017. It’s a massive honour to have a writer of Rose's calibre visiting Malton.

As always there’s great local support and James Mackenzie, our local Michelin star chef will be cooking live on stage and teaching at the cookery school. Also cooking live will be award-winning chef Nigel Brown, festival favourite Steph Moon, French super chef Yves Quemerias, wellness guru Xochi Balfour, fish expert Jonathan Batchelor and the world famous team from Betty’s - and that’s just the demonstrations.

Don’t miss the free stage outside the old Town Hall for interviews, talks and tastings all weekend. We will see the return of the festival cow photographic competition, as well as the new competition stage, which I predict will be a hilarious new festival hit. How many Yorkshire puddings can you eat?

As always the whole weekend is built around 160 superb food stalls and delectable street food eateries. This year is no exception as we strive to offer even more variety, more healthy eating choices, vegetarian options and unique suppliers. And for meat eaters, as always there will be a huge array of robust Yorkshire fayre to keep you going too.

Fresh from their Beertown success, Malton breweries Bad Seed and Brass Castle will be running the festival bar showcasing some of the finest Made in Malton craft ale and beer. Live bands and street food will keep the festival party running to 11pm on Saturday, so make sure you’ve got somewhere to stay and prepare for a party. I predict dancing in the streets for sure.

Malton cookery school lessons will be running all weekend, there’s a new vintage funfair area as part of the new family entertainment line-up and the kids cookery area will no doubt be even more popular than ever.

New this year is the Festival Tea Room run by the amazing Tarte and Berry team in the old Town Hall. Talbot Yard Food Court is also in on the act with a new seating area, live music and street food with a new link passage direct to the Market Place to make it even easier to access.

There are plenty of other surprises in store so keep watching the website because it’s a festival like no other. It’s a celebration of God’s own county showcasing Malton and Yorkshire to the world. As Levi Roots said last year "Malton is garguntuan and fabulicious".

See you there. Discounted "early bird" tickets are available now at maltonyorkshire.co.uk