Hi all, with just over three months to go, the Bolton Food and Drink Festival’s chef line-up has just been revealed. I’m a keen #BoltonFoodFest fan. I usually count down the days to this wonderful festival (it is EXACTLY 15 weeks away!). I’m really looking forward to reporting from it as I do every year, all the while enjoying the carnival atmosphere with friends and family. This very special food festival has grown from a local event to being one of the biggest foodie festivals in the country. So, who will be there then?

Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain will headline Bolton Food and Drink Festival when it returns in August.

The four day festival in Bolton town centre will also feature Britain’s best-loved authority on wine Oz Clarke and fellow wine expert Kate Goodman.

Celebrity chefs James Martin, Michael Caines and John Torode will all be making a welcome return to the festival which runs over the Bank Holiday weekend from August 26 to 29.

All the chefs will be giving live cookery demonstrations at the festival, which is billed the biggest in the north.

Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines will open the festival on Friday (August 26) before hosting a gala dinner that night.

As well as celebrity demos, a speciality food, drink and crafts market with more than 150 traders, and live music, organisers have made some exciting changes to the festival this year.

Highlights include wine tasting sessions with Oz Clarke and Kate Goodman on Saturday (August 27) joined by John Torode at a twilight session.

Red Wine
Red Wine

Oz Clarke said: “I’m looking forward to hosting the tasting sessions. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert, an enthusiast or just like the odd glass, there will be something for everyone.”

John Torode will also be showcasing recipes on Saturday. He said: “Bolton’s always great and there’s a cracking vibe to this festival. I’m looking forward to coming back.”

 As well as a cookery demo, Bake Off winner Nadiya will also host a family brunch for young food fans on Sunday (August 28).

She said: “I am so excited to be coming to this festival. It’s been a whirlwind since I won Bake Off and to now be invited to festivals like Bolton’s is just amazing. I will be making some of my favourite recipes and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone.”

Nadiya will also be the special guest at an afternoon tea with cakes provided by acclaimed Whitefield chocolatier and pattisier Slattery.

James Martin will notch up his eighth appearance on Monday (August 29), the final day of the festival. He said: “Bolton is one of my favourite festivals and it’s an honour to be back here again this year in 2016.”

More than 200,000 visitors attended last year’s festival, which is organised by Bolton Council in association with Aldi. Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “The festival is our biggest event of the year and we’re delighted to have another excellent mix of celebrity chefs signed up.

“There will be a whole world of mouth-watering food, fun and family entertainment for everyone to enjoy over four days.

“We’ve also got lots of activities planned for the children, and we will be announcing more programme details soon.”

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

Partners include:

Oz Clarke, wine expert, Kate Goodman, James Martin, Michael Caines and John Torode, celebrity chefs, Michael Caines, Whitefield chocolatiers, pattisier Slattery, Arts Council; Bolton College; Bolton Market; KRO; Octagon Theatre; Slattery, and Worsley Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club.

Tickets for the celebrity chef demos and the special events will 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.