The award-winning Bolton Food and Drink Festival is back with news to make even the staunchest of foodies faint in a glorious amalgam of glee and excitement.

But first a little foodie teaser.

What do you get when you take a dash of Ainsley Harriott, a pinch of Simon Rimmer, a sprinkling of James Martin, then stir together with Michael Caines?

The perfect recipe for the Bolton Food and Drink Festival 2017!


This is the amazing line-up of celebrity chefs who will be giving live cookery demonstrations and hosting a series of special events at the festival, which will run from August 25 to 28 this year.

The only way is up, as this annual food festival won the ‘Best Food Market’ category at the British Market of the Year Awards in Birmingham earlier this year.

Being in my home-town of Bolton, this festival holds a special place in my heart. And the Bolton Food and Drink Festival is THE reason why, my diary is on lockdown for that long bank holiday weekend in August.

The 10th annual Bolton Food and Drink Festival, Victoria Square, Bolton, Lancashire. Record crowds attended the four day event. Picture by Paul Heyes, Monday August 31, 2015.
The 10th annual Bolton Food and Drink Festival, Victoria Square, Bolton, Lancashire. Record crowds attended the four day event. Picture by Paul Heyes, Monday August 31, 2015.

More than 263,000 visitors attended last year’s event, which is organised by Bolton Council in association with Aldi and has a reputation as the biggest and best food fest in the north.

Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines will launch the festival on Friday (August 25) before hosting a gala dinner the same night.


Chef and co-presenter of Channel 4 Sunday Brunch, Simon Rimmer, will showcase recipes and host a ‘Saturday Brunch’ event.

He said: “I first came to the festival in 2008 when it was a small scale event but over the years it has grown massively in size and reputation. I can’t wait to make a return visit.”

Strictly Come Dancing star and one of the country’s favourite TV chefs, Ainsley Harriott, will be appearing at the festival for the first time.

He will be performing a live cookery demo and hosting an afternoon tea on the Sunday (August 26).

He said: “I’ve always enjoyed visiting Bolton and I’ve heard great things about this festival – so I can’t wait to come back, get stuck in and meet all the fantastic people.”

James Martin will notch up his ninth appearance on the Bank Holiday Monday (August 29), the final day of the festival. He said: “I love this festival, the people are so welcoming. I’ve been doing it for so many years and there is always something new and different to look forward to.”

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.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “The festival is the jewel in the crown of Bolton’s annual events and this year I am sure it will be bigger and better than ever.

“We have secured the talents of some of the UK’s top celebrity chefs and they are sure to be a hit with the public. This event attracts visitors from across the country and continues to help to put Bolton on the map. We always make sure it is fun for the whole family and this year will be no exception.

“The build-up is all part of the excitement generated by the festival and we will be making lots more announcements in the coming months.”

Sponsors are: Aldi; University of Bolton; Market Place Shopping Centre; Stateside Foods; Willmott Dixon, and Grosvenor Windows.

Partners include: Arts Council; Bolton College; Bolton Library and Museum; Bolton Market; Carrs Pasties; Crompton Place; Greenhalghs; Last Drop Hotel; Octagon Theatre; RRG Group, and Slattery.

Tickets for the celebrity chef demos and the special events will go on sale mid-April.

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