The Bolton Food and Drink Festival is less than three weeks’ away, which is a must visit event for any self-respecting foodie. The final touches are being made to one of the festival’s most exciting schedules ever, with a host of regional and celebrity chefs rocking into Bolton for the bank holiday weekend.
Coronation Street star Jennie McAlpine will appear at this year’s Food and Drink Festival – and she hopes the people of Bolton will be able to send her to foodie heaven!
Soap star Jennie, who has played Fiz in Corrie since 2001, will be rustling up some dishes with top Bolton chef Mike Harrison in The Vaults, on Sunday, August 28 at 1pm.
They will be cooking either Jennie’s food heaven or food hell – and which one she gets is totally dependent on the audience vote.
Jennie said: “I’m really looking forward to joining in the fun at this year’s festival. I know it is an amazing event and is extremely popular.
“I am slightly nervous about getting my food hell but I’m sure I can rely on the kind people of Bolton to choose wisely and give me my food heaven!”
Jennie opened her restaurant Annies in Manchester in 2014. As well as Jennie and Mike, some of the country’s finest chefs will show off their culinary expertise in free cooking demonstrations at the festival.
Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines, Aiden Byrne, of Manchester House, Masterchef winner Simon Wood, celebrity chef Andrew Nutter all feature in leading the festival’s regional chef schedule.
Free demonstrations will take place over the Bank Holiday weekend, from August 26 to 29 in the Lifestyle Hall, at Bolton Market on Ashburner Street and in The Vaults – the town’s newest dining destination at The Market Place Shopping Centre.
The festival is organised by Bolton Council in association with Aldi, and there will be 25 free cookery demos by 16 chefs over the four days. For details visit www.boltonfoodanddrinkfestival.com.
These are in addition to the ticketed demos by festival headliners John Torode, Nadiya Hussain and James Martin. Michael Caines will officially launch the festival in The Vaults on Friday, August 26 with a free cookery demonstration at 2pm.
Making a welcome return to the festival is Aiden Byrne, whose restaurant Manchester House was featured in the BBC series Restaurant Wars. (Here’s one of my blog posts from when it first aired a few years ago.) At 22, he became the youngest chef ever to win a Michelin star. Aiden will be in The Vaults on Monday, August 29 at 1pm and 3pm.
Masterchef champion, Simon Wood, who was crowned the 2015 winner of the hit BBC show in April, will be in Bolton Market on Friday, August 26 at noon. Popular market trader Alain Job (11am) and top Manchester chef Robert Owen Brown (noon) will also be entertaining crowds at the market on Saturday.
Flamboyant chef Andrew Nutter is a familiar face at the festival. He will be in The Vaults on Monday, August 29 at 11am and 2pm.
Other chefs include: Nick Cullen from Nick’s restaurant in Bolton; Sean Wilson, former soap star turned chef; Andrew George from Icky Sticky Cakes; Rose Dummer, aka Rosie Cake Diva and creator of last year’s show-stopping elephant cake; pastry chef Jessica O’Keeffe from In Truffle We Trust; chef Jon Jones and John Howcroft, chef from the Wilton Arms.
Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “We have a great line-up of chefs once again. The festival has become the prime foodie event of the year for chefs and celebrities alike to be a part of, and we are delighted to welcome Jennie this year.
“The demos are really popular and a fantastic way of picking up some free cooking tips from the experts. This year, along with Bolton Market, we have The Vaults hosting the demos. This is a perfect setting for them and we’re thankful to the Market Place for their support.”
Market Place Centre Manager, Nikki Wilson-Cook, added: “We’re thrilled to be able to play host to some of the region’s finest chefs in the stunning surroundings of The Vaults at this year’s Bolton Food and Drink Festival.
“It’s a great opportunity for customers to sample some unique food and drink, get up close to some local celebrities and explore our brand new leisure and dining venue.”
Sponsors are: Aldi; University of Bolton; Market Place Shopping Centre; Stateside Foods, Willmott Dixon and Old Pulteney. Partners include: Arts Council; Bolton College; Bolton Market; KRO; Octagon Theatre; Slattery, and Worsley Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club.
Tickets are not required for the free cookery demos. Tickets for the celebrity chefs and special events are available from Bolton Octagon Theatre, via www.boltonfoodanddrinkfestival.com or 01204 520661.
Here is a full schedule of the regional chef demos:
Friday, August 26
2pm Michael Caines
Lifestyle Hall, Bolton Market
11am Nick Cullen
Noon Simon Wood
1pm Sean Wilson
2pm Andrew George
3pm Sean Wilson
Saturday, August 27
11am Sean Wilson
2pm Robert Owen Brown
Lifestyle Hall, Bolton Market
11am Alain Job
Noon Robert Owen Brown
1pm Andrew George
2pm Jessica O’Keeffe
3pm Sean Wilson
Sunday, August 28
10am Luis Troyano
11am Rose Dummer
Noon Luis Troyano
1pm Jennie McAlpine and Mike Harrison
2pm Luis Troyano
3pm John Howcroft
Monday, August 29
10am Jessica O’Keeffe
11am Andrew Nutter
Noon Jon Jones
1pm Aiden Byrne
2pm Andrew Nutter
3pm Aiden Byrne
See you all there!