The year was 1987. I was a precocious ten year old and my teacher had asked me what I wanted to be. I said the first thing that popped into my mind: “Chef or baker so I can bake and eat yummy food all day.” My love for food has been evident from the start, when according to my mother, I would pillage food off my cousin’s plate when being fed as a child. (That can be construed as being a downright greedy guzzler, but I much prefer the term “enthusiastic foodie”.) I still love food, and although I don’t cook as often as I would like, food is one of my big three loves in life (right up there with books and fashion)*. A self-confessed foodie and habitual frequenter of restaurants, cafés and any place that serves the scrummy edible stuff, imagine my delight on realising that the Bolton Food and Drink Festival (BFADF) was already upon us.
Just a little bit of background for those unfamiliar with this super awesome gig. This is the mother of all food festivals currently in its eighth year. I’m not just saying that because I love Bolton. Of course I have to show some lovin’ for my quaint home-town, but the dates for the BFADF should be etched into the mind and heart of any self-respecting foodie. Once a year over the August bank holiday weekend, the town centre is transformed into a bustling melee of food and craft stalls, from German beer marquees to crepe and pizza stands standing loud and proud. Kudos to Bolton Council; Karen Johnston and Joanne Cooke are superstars in their own right and I would just like to say, thank you for making such a fabulous event happen.
Visitors travel far and wide to attend this brilliant festival and with an impressive roll-call of chefs (Aldo Zilli and James Martin to name but a few) doing live cookery demos, Bolton is the place to be. The fun foodie action isn’t limited to the main town centre. Chef demos are scheduled in the fabulous space that is The Bolton Market Place. I watched live chef demos by Ernst Van Zyl and Andrew Nutter, and was blown away by the passion of these diligent chefs (more on that in a different post to be published imminently). I caught up with some very special guests and I’m currently in the middle of writing the first of my Q&As, with none other than the delectable Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood. I would have posted sooner, but my day job is keeping me busier than usual. I promise to post within the next 48 hours.
PS note to the powers that be: why isn’t Bolton a city? It has a fantastic shopping scene, has great transport links to any large city, a solid university plus bucket loads of northern charm. It feels like a city masquerading as a town and I would just like to publicly say that it’s about time we were given City status.
* Just a teeny tiny caveat. There’s a tonne of stuff I love;-D, Wagamama’s Cha Han, Hotel Chocolat, Aldo Zilli, I could go on, but for the sake of brevity in the actual post, I have to keep it snappy… 🙂