Chef line-up unveiled 

21/04/11
Michael Caines
Two Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines will open this year's festival

The UK’s number one restaurateur is heading the line-up for Bolton’s sixth Food and Drink Festival.

Michael Caines, the two Michelin-starred chef at the Gidleigh Park restaurant in Devon and executive chef of Abode Hotels, will open this year’s foodie extravaganza.

The festival, which last year pulled in an estimated 75,000 visitors, will take place from Friday, August 26 to Monday, August 29.

The four-day festival, organised by Bolton Council, will take over Victoria Square and Oxford Street, with plans to expand this year’s event even further around the town centre.

Michael Caines said: “I am extremely honoured to be asked to officially open the Bolton Food and Drink Festival. This is the ultimate foodie event and is not to be missed. I am confident that it will supersede the success of last year’s event to ensure that this festival remains firmly on the calendar for many years to come.”

Mr Caines, who lost his right arm in a car accident 15 years ago, was the protégé of renowned chef Raymond Blanc and he was awarded an MBE for services to the hospitality industry in 2006.

Michael Caines’ two-Michelin-starred restaurant at Gidleigh Park in Devon, was voted the best restaurant in the UK in the Sunday Times Food List in 2010.

He joins a mouthwatering line-up of celebrity chefs who now regard Bolton’s festival as one of the best in the country.

Last year’s star, Italian chef Gino D’Acampo, will return along with Hairy Bikers culinary duo Si King and Dave Myers and Yorkshire chef James Martin.

Gino said: “I had such a great time when I came to Bolton. I’m looking forward to meeting the public again especially as everyone I met last time was so lovely and friendly. In my opinion Bolton has a brilliant festival and I would urge everyone to come and visit.”

The Hairy Bikers added: “We’ve had a fantastic reception each time we’ve been to Bolton and we’re thrilled to be invited back. Bolton has one of the best festivals in the country and we’ve seen it get better year on year.”

James Martin has appeared at the festival for the last two years. He said: “The festival is getting bigger and better thanks to the efforts of the council. I love festivals like these and it seems that Bolton has really mastered a recipe for success. I am really looking forward to coming back, browsing the food and drink stalls and using the fresh, local produce to cook up some fabulous dishes.”

Local, regional, and specialist traders will entice shoppers with a range of food, drinks and craft products at the speciality market.

New for this year is a cookery theatre for local and regional chefs in the Market Place Shopping Centre. Chefs will also cook in the kitchen at Bolton Market, Ashburner Street.

A dedicated marquee for the celebrity chefs’ cookery demonstrations will be located in Victoria Square.

Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Development and Regeneration, Councillor Ismail Ibrahim, said: “It’s fantastic that the celebrity chefs agree that our festival is one of the best in the country. The festival attracts thousands of visitors from across the country, boosting trade for town centre businesses. We always said that we were determined to make the festival a key foodie event and organisers are working hard to make this year’s even better.”

Tickets for the celebrity chef demonstrations will go on sale in June. Visit the official food and drink website to sign up for the newsletter.

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