Fusing dishes from the Far East and the UK is a passion for Manchester chef, Aazam Ahmad, who will kick off the feast of free demonstrations being served up at this year’s Bolton Food and Drink Festival.
Aazam started out as a chef in English and French cuisine and over time discovered a passion for bringing Asian Fusion cooking to the masses, which earned him the title of BBC Fusion Chef of The Year. He has developed a number of signature dishes, in particular his swordfish with mango and paw paw.
Aazam said he can’t wait to return to Bolton: “I really am so pleased to have been invited back to the festival as I always get a warm welcome. There is a real buzz, and what I really love about it is that it attracts not just people from the local community but visitors from across the North West, Wales and even further afield. I also enjoy talking to the local food traders and trying their products.
“I like to explore and savour new flavours and I want to show visitors to the festival just how easy and rewarding it is to cook exciting Asian food”.
Aazam will perform two free demonstrations on Friday, August 23. The first will be at 10am at Bolton Market on Ashburner Street and the second will be at 2.30pm in the Festival Marquee in Victoria Square.
Aazam will also be joining in the fun at the Crompton Place children’s food emporium between 1.15pm and 1.45pm on Friday.
And Bolton’s very own spice girl, Anjali Pathak, will once again wow crowds with her traditional Asian cuisine at two demonstrations in the Market Place Shopping Centre on Sunday August 25 at 1pm and then 3pm.
An ambitious woman and member of the world renowned Pathak Indian cuisine empire, Anjali has always been determined to make a name for herself in her own right and is a respected chef with a qualification from the prestigious Leiths School of Food and Wine. She has also been shortlisted for a number of awards for her work with Indian food and flavours, including Asian Women of Achievement Awards and First Women Awards.
Anjali strives to absorb all there is to know about Indian food and regularly travels to India on fact finding missions, soaking up the culture and traditions across the different regions, to learn more about her food heritage and bring the inspiration back to the UK.
Adding a touch of Cantonese class this year will be special guest, Harry Yeung MBE, chef and owner of the Yang Sing in Manchester. Harry has been delighting taste buds since the 1970s, creating traditional Chinese dishes with a lightness of touch and great flavour. Harry will be entertaining crowds twice on Saturday 24, firstly at 1pm at Bolton Market and then he will join Michael Harrison at 4pm in the Market Place Shopping Centre.
The festival, which runs over the bank holiday weekend, (August 23 to 26), will be launched on the Friday at 11.30am by double Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines. Michael will then give two free cookery demonstrations, one at 12.30pm in the festival marquee in Victoria Square and another at 2.30pm in the Market Place Shopping Centre.
Other celebrity chefs providing demos over the four days are Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, Aldo Zilli and James Martin.
In addition, a host of local and regional chefs, passionate about food, will be delivering free cooking demonstrations at the award winning Bolton Market on Ashburner Street, the Market Place Shopping Centre and in Victoria Square.
The Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “The Bolton Food and Drink Festival has grown year on year and we are thrilled to welcome 14 chefs from the region who are only too happy to share their expertise with the public. It’s great that we are able to attract such a wide variety of food experts, including chefs specialising in Asian cuisine, due to the increasing popularity of the festival.
“It is also pleasing to give shoppers at Bolton Market and the Market Place Shopping Centre the chance to see and get involved in the free demonstrations.”
Rod Neasham, Centre Manager at Market Place Shopping Centre added: “We're really delighted to be able to provide such a fabulous venue for shoppers to witness the very best in culinary expertise for free!
“The demonstrations are on every hour from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 24 and Monday 26, and from 11am to 3pm on Sunday 25. Regional chefs will bring their own unique and imaginative style of cooking to the shopping centre, encouraging audience interaction and sharing their secrets and know-how.”
To keep up to date with the latest festival news, log on to the website www.boltonfoodanddrinkfestival.com, visit Facebook and search for Bolton Food and Drink Festival or search for #boltonfoodfest on Twitter.
Bolton Food and Drink Festival is organised by Bolton Council and sponsored by Bolton College, Bluemantle, Crompton Place, The Market Place Shopping Centre and Stateside Foods.
Our partners this year are The Octagon Theatre, KRO Bar, the Marriott Worsley Park Hotel, Bolton Market and The Albert Halls.