Bolton's Food and Drink Festival has been backed by another top chef.
Consultant Executive Chef to Manchester City Football Club, John Benson-Smith, declared his support and admiration to a packed audience gathered for the official festival launch.
Mr Benson-Smith also declared how Bolton's Food and Drink Festival convinced him to move to the area.
He said: "I was here two years ago and it was fantastic. The festival is about real people and real produce and the organisation was great. I loved the event that much that I moved out of Manchester and to this area."
His backing comes a week after two Michelin starred chef Michael Caines said Bolton's festival had the edge over its rivals.
The launch event, held last night (May 13) at the Signature restaurant, Bolton College, on Deane Road, was attended by more than 40 hoteliers, restaurateurs and local businesses.
The festival, taking place from Friday, August 26 to Monday, August 29, is fast gaining a reputation as the foodie event to visit in the North West.
Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: "The festival is just growing and growing and to gain the support of acclaimed chefs like John and Michael firmly puts us on the foodie map.
“We’re delighted that so many businesses attended to find out how they could participate in this year’s festival. Hopefully we will see even more events being laid on across Bolton, to compliment what’s happening in the town centre, making it truly a festival for the whole town.”
Bolton College Principal, Marie Gilluley, added: ““It was a natural decision for us to support the Bolton Food and Drink Festival and we are delighted to have hosted this inaugural event at our new Signature restaurant.
“Our excellent links with the many food and drink businesses in Bolton ensure that our training is relevant to employers, who are able to provide many opportunities to our learners for work experience and future employment.”
Michael Caines is opening this year's show with a cookery demonstration on Friday.
He will be joined by celebrity chefs Gino D’Acampo, Hairy Bikers Si King and Dave Myers and Yorkshire chef James Martin.
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.
Local, regional, and specialist traders will entice shoppers with a range of food, drinks and craft products at the speciality market.
Tickets for the celebrity chef demonstrations will go on sale in June. Sign up to the newsletter at the Food and Drink website to be the first to find out when tickets go on sale and how to purchase.