Preparations are underway for Bolton’s sixth Food and Drink Festival.
A huge marquee which can seat 300 visitors for the festival’s star-studded cookery demos has been erected ready for the launch on Friday, August 26.
Two Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines will open the foodie spectacular on Friday, August 26 with a free demonstration in the AGA Rangemaster cookery theatre, in Victoria Square at 12.30pm. A further demo will take place at 2pm.
Other star attractions are celebrity chefs Hairy Bikers Si King and David Myers (on Saturday), Gino D'Acampo (Sunday) and James Martin (Monday). Presenter Ali Benson-Smith will compere the demos.
An estimated 75,000 people visited in 2010 and council chiefs are hoping to see even more attending this year thanks to a jam-packed programme.
New this year is luxury department store Harvey Nichols opening up a pop-up restaurant. Chefs from the award-winning Second Floor Brasserie, in Harvey Nichols Manchester will take up residence in the vacant Olive Press restaurant premises on Nelson Square.
A host of top chefs will also give free demos in Bolton Market on Ashburner Street and Market Place Shopping Centre.
BBC Fusion chef Aazam Ahmad will entertain crowds in the market, at noon on Friday and Saturday.
A different chef will headline events at the Market Place from Saturday, August 27 to Monday, August 29.
TV regular Stacie Stewart is appearing on Saturday, Bolton’s very own spice girl Anjali Pathak will headline on Sunday and Consultant Executive Chef to Manchester City Football Club, John Benson-Smith will get tastebuds tingling on Monday.
Other chefs will also make appearances. Demos are hourly from 11am to 3pm.
A speciality market featuring around 80 traders from across the UK will take over Victoria Square, Oxford Street and Deansgate. The market will open from 10am to 5pm.
Revellers will be in culinary heaven with a range of produce to choose from, including handmade chocolates; cupcakes; homemade soup; luxury jams and street food.
A variety of street performers will also entertain crowds. There will be the return of the popular Granny Tourismos
Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: "The festival has established itself as a key food and drink festival to attend for foodies across the country. We’ve heard of couples who live miles away that come back year after year which shows the dedicated following we’re getting.
“This year’s event really is bigger and better than ever and there is something for everyone. From demos by celebrity chefs to a speciality market with more traders occupying more of the town, I would urge people to attend and enjoy what is sure to be a fantastic festival.”
Mouthwatering events will also be on the menu in venues across Bolton. Highlights include a Cider Festival at Ye Olde Man and Scythe and a Bollywood night at Spice Valley.
There are special offers on parking. Topp Way multi-storey car park, on Bath Street, will be £1.50 all day and Deane Road multi-storey car park will charge £2 for four hours. Pay and display car parks managed by NCP and on-street parking are also free on Sunday.
A handful of tickets for cookery demonstrations for the celebrity chefs are still available and can be purchased from the Albert Halls box office on 01204 334400 or online via the Festival website.
To keep up to date with the latest festival news, log on to the website, visit Facebook and search for Bolton Food and Drink Festival or search for #boltonfoodanddrinkfestival on Twitter.
The event has been organised by Bolton Council, and is sponsored by Bolton College, Bolton’s family baker Warburtons, and property firm Bluemantle.