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The Team Behind Michelin-Starred Restaurant Pine Launch Unique Charity Event

The Team Behind Michelin-Starred Restaurant Pine Launch Unique Charity Event L-R: Sian Byerley, Ian Waller, Cal Byerley, Vanessa Stoltz © Joe Taylor Photography
Eat and Drink
March 2024
Reading time 5 Minutes

Fancy trying street food from Michelin-starred chefs for just £6 a go - all to raise money for a good cause?

We find out about the first BiteBack festival from the team behind Northumberland's Restaurant Pine.

With a Michelin star and Green star, regularly named among the top restaurants in the country and now having been named the best restaurant in the UK by SquareMeal, you might think the team behind Northumberland’s restaurant Pine would be happy to rest on their laurels. Not so, however: instead they’ve decided to launch an ambitious charity fundraiser taking place this summer.

In aid of Cancer Research UK, BiteBack is a foodie event with a difference, bringing together 15 of the UK’s multi-award winning Michelin-starred chefs. Taking place at Newcastle’s Wylam Brewery in June, these leading lights of the culinary world will be offering their unique takes on street food dishes.

It’s not often you get to sample food from Michelin-starred chefs for just six quid a go, but on the day the public will be welcome to head down to the Brewery and sample the unique offerings, which will showcase the chefs’ varied and eclectic styles of cooking. With only 500 portions of each dish available on the day, diners will need to be quick to be in with a chance of securing their chosen dishes. As well as food and drinks, there’ll be DJs and local celebrities on hand to host a special live auction, which will see some amazing foodie experiences up for grabs.

Cal Byerley Cal Byerley
Ian Waller Pine Head Chef © Joe Taylor Photography Ian Waller Pine Head Chef © Joe Taylor Photography

Among the chefs confirmed to be taking part are Ryan Blackburn (Old Stamp House, Ambleside), Nathan Davies (formerly SY23), and Kenny Atkinson with Scott Hodgson (Solstice and House of Tides, Newcastle), as well as Pine’s Cal Byerley and Ian Waller. Tom Shepherd (Michelin-starred chef and owner of Upstairs by Tom Shepherd in Lichfield) was among the first chefs to be announced. Fans of Great British Menu will recognise Tom, who won the main course round in 2023 with his memorable dish, Desperate Dan’s Cow Pie.

Those of us who have been watching this year’s Great British Menu on BBC2 have inadvertently seen the origins of the event – or at least something close. Pine’s restaurant manager Sian Byerley tells us that the inspiration for BiteBack actually came to her when she and husband Cal met up with Sir Brendan Foster at the Great Run office last year. ‘We were shooting some footage for Cal’s appearance on Great British Menu and Cal had chosen to create a dish based on Sir Brendan Foster’s Olympic achievements,’ she explains. ‘Sir Brendan had said his inspiration for starting the Great North Run came to him when he took part in an event in New Zealand. He wanted to create an event in Newcastle that would bring lots of people together. I was so impressed and inspired that I thought to myself, I wonder if I could create an event which celebrates people uniting together to fundraise for a special cause by bringing some of the best chefs I know to Newcastle, to do something fun and different from our normal.’

‘All the chefs taking part have been asked to create
something delicious and fun in the style of street food’

It was Ian Waller, Pine’s head chef, who suggested that the money raised should go to Cancer Research UK. ‘It’s a cause that means so much to him and so many people,’ Sian continues. ‘Did you know that in the UK there is a person diagnosed with cancer every 90 seconds?’

Having reached out to some chefs, the idea grew and grew, and once Sian got her old employers at Wylam Brewery on board to host the stage was set. ‘I’m so grateful to them and everyone helping out,’ she says. When Sian got in touch with the charity to let them know about the plans, she was asked to join their Business Beats Cancer NE board. ’It has only made me more certain that we have chosen the right charity to celebrate and fundraise for,’ she says. All the chefs taking part have been asked to create something delicious and fun in the style of street food. Ian will be serving a take on Pine’s signature beetroot course (dehydrated and rehydrated chewy beetroots, pickled walnuts and Doddington’s cheddar), while Cal will be serving his Great British Menu dessert ‘Tennis Ball Cheesecake’, which scored him a 10 from the judges. ‘You can expect famous produce from all locations around the UK too,’ says Sian. ‘For example, Ryan from Old Stamphouse will be serving Herdwick, a breed of sheep native to the Lake District.’

With all the wheels in motion, Sian can’t wait to see the event come together. ‘I’m pretty certain I will be an emotional wreck on the day,’ she says, ‘but beyond anything so grateful for people to turn up and celebrate CRUK.’

BiteBack takes place on 9th June 2024 at Wylam Brewery, Palace of Arts, Newcastle. Tokens will be available to purchase online before the event for just £6. More chefs are being announced weekly, follow @biteback_fest on Instagram to keep up to date or go to

All proceeds from BiteBack will be donated to Cancer Research UK to help support over 4,000 researchers, clinicians and nurses to transform how they help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, bringing hope to millions of people, now and in the future.

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