This is one of the highlights of my year and it’s just around the corner. Yes, details of this year’s Bolton Food & Drink Festival have just been confirmed, with an all-star chef line-up and a packed menu of birthday treats to celebrate Bolton’s 10th outing.

I think John Torode must have waxed lyrical to his pretty witty girlfriend, about how fab Bolton is, because actress and winner of Celebrity MasterChef 2010 Lisa Faulkner will be joining the festival for the first time.

The four day foodie spectacular, organised by Bolton Council in association with Aldi, will take place from Friday, August 28 to Monday, August 31.

As well as the celebrity chef cookery demos in a marquee on Victoria Square and a speciality food and drink market, organisers have added new special events in honour of the festival’s 10th birthday.

Highlights include an afternoon tea on Saturday (August 29) with Lisa Faulkner as a special guest and cakes provided by acclaimed chocolatier and pattisier Slattery, from Whitefield. Lisa said: “I’m really excited about being a part of the festival. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of lovely people at the afternoon tea and cooking up a few recipes from my latest book.”

A street party atmosphere will take over the town on Sunday (August 30) and John Torode will entertain the crowds with his demos. He said: “I had a ball last time and how brilliant to be invited back to join in the birthday celebrations. There’s nothing I like more than a good birthday party, and a visit to my favourite Thai!”

Children’s television favourite Katy Ashworth will be doing live shows daily but on Monday (August 31) she will host a special birthday cake decorating day for her young fans.

James Martin will notch up his seventh appearance on Monday, the final day of the festival. He is delighted to be part of a festival which is now one of the largest in the UK. He said: “It’s an honour to be taking part at what will be a very special birthday celebration. I’ve seen the festival develop and grow from when I first came in 2009 to where it is now, and there really aren’t any that are like it.”

The footprint of the festival is also larger this year – Le Mans Crescent will be home to two marquees – one for the regional chef cookery demos and one for Katy’s shows.

Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “The festival is eagerly awaited every year and once again we’ve organised a fantastic event to celebrate its 10th birthday. We are going all out to make this a birthday party to remember and everyone’s invited. Like any good birthday party there’ll be plenty of good food, lots of fun entertainment and an opportunity to catch up with some familiar and friendly faces.


“The event is a real celebration of the best of local and regional produce, with traders coming from far and wide. Last year’s festival was our biggest yet with more than 150,000 visitors and we’re hoping for even more this year, particularly with the new events we have planned.


“It’s fantastic to have Lisa coming this year and together with John Torode and our festival regulars James Martin and Michael Caines we’ve got a spectacular line-up of chefs. Katy Ashworth was a big hit with our young visitors last year and we’re pleased she’s coming back. It’s going to be a birthday to remember.”

Sponsors this year are Aldi, Greenhalgh’s, Market Place Shopping Centre and Stateside Foods. Partners are Bolton Market, Impression Ltd, Kro Bar, Marriott, Octagon Theatre, and Slattery.

Tickets for the celebrity chef demos, Katy’s shows, and the special events will go on sale on Saturday, May 23. To keep up to date with the latest news visit, follow Bolton Food and Drink Festival page on Facebook or @boltonfoodfest on Twitter.