You’d never think it (it’s very cold) but with summer peeking around the corner, you’ll be looking into making plans for the August bank holiday weekend. Book that entire weekend out and head up north for the Bolton Food Festival.

You’ll be in good company, as celebrity chef James Martin will once again star at Bolton’s popular annual food and drink festival, notching up his tenth appearance.

Martin will be joined by the godfather of TV chefs Ainsley Harriott, baking queen Nadiya Hussain, and Michelin-starred Michael Caines at the four day spectacular.

Day three of the annual Bolton Food and Drink Festival. Star of the show Ainsley Harroitt doing a cookery demonstration with Andy Settle from Bolton and cake diva Rosie Dummer. Picture by Paul Heyes, Sunday August 27, 2017.
Day three of the annual Bolton Food and Drink Festival. Star of the show Ainsley Harroitt doing a cookery demonstration with Andy Settle from Bolton and cake diva Rosie Dummer. Picture by Paul Heyes, Sunday August 27, 2017.

More than 267,000 visited the event last year, which is organised by Bolton Council in association with Aldi, and holds the reputation of being the biggest and best food festival in the north.

The chefs will be cooking and hosting a series of special events at the festival, which will run from August 24 to 27 this year.

James Martin will appear on Bank Holiday Monday (August 27), the final day of the festival. He said: “Ten years – wow, that is really something. It is a real honour and I don’t say that lightly. Bolton’s festival is special. I’ve seen it grow year on year and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Chef Michael Caines will launch the foodie event on Friday (August 24) before hosting a gala dinner the same night. He said: “I am very much looking forward to coming back again this year. The festival is an event that is really at the heart of the community and the town centre and it is always amazing to be a part of it.”

BBC Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya will showcase recipes on Saturday (August 25). She added: “I first came to the festival in 2016 and I had a great time. I am delighted to be coming back.”

TV chef and Strictly Come Dancing star, Ainsley Harriott, will be appearing at the festival for the second time, following last year’s success.

He will be doing live cookery performances on Sunday (August 26). He said: “Last year was so much fun. This really is a fantastic festival and I’m delighted to be invited back to tickle Bolton’s tastebuds and make lots of new friends.”

The festival will also feature cookery demos from top regional chefs, a speciality food, drink and crafts market with more than 200 traders, live music, street performers, and children’s activities.

Bolton Council’s Chief Executive, Tony Oakman, said: “The food and drink festival really is the jewel in the crown of Bolton’s annual events and I am sure it will be bigger and better than ever this year.

“Our celebrity chefs are always a hit with the public. James Martin is a firm festival favourite and we are delighted that he has been with us all this time and seen the event develop to what it is now.

 “The festival is Team Bolton working together at its finest – it attracts visitors from across the country and it’s always a great day out for all the family.

 “Watch this space as we will be making lots more announcements in the coming months.”

 Ruth Doyle, Managing Director at Aldi, added: “We are so pleased to be supporting Bolton Council and the North West region at the upcoming Food and Drink Festival for the fourth year running.

“Our local teams are looking forward to sharing our products with the community and visitors, and the opportunity to work alongside the impressive line-up of national and regional chefs.”

Sponsors are: Aldi; Stateside Foods, and Willmott Dixon. Partners include: Arts Council; Bolton Market; Bolton Library and Museum Services; Carrs Pasties; Greater Manchester Combined Authority; Octagon Theatre, and RRG Group Ltd.

Tickets for the celebrity chef demos and the special events are set to go on sale at the end of May.

For updates, visit www.boltonfoodanddrinkfestival.com, follow Bolton Food and Drink Festival page on Facebook or @boltonfoodfest on Twitter.

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