Finest regional chefs for food fest 

Aiden Byrne
Aiden Byrne from Manchester House will be cooking at the festival.

A host of talented regional chefs will show off their culinary skills at this year's Bolton Food and Drink Festival.

Manchester House’s Aiden Byrne, 2015 Masterchef winner Simon Wood, celebrity chef Andrew Nutter and Great British Menu star and head chef at The French, Adam Reid all feature in the festival’s regional chef schedule.

John Whaite, winner of the third series of the popular TV show Great British Bake Off, and resident chef on the Lorraine ITV daytime programme will also be showing off his skills in two demos on Sunday.

Demonstrations will take place over the Bank Holiday weekend, from August 26 to 29 in the Lifestyle Hall, at Bolton Market on Ashburner Street and in a regional chefs’ marquee, on Corporation Street.

The festival is organised by Bolton Council in association with Aldi, and there will be 29 cookery demos by 20 chefs over four days. For details visit

The regional chef demos will be free of charge, but in addition there will be a special cook-off between culinary kings Aiden Byrne and Andrew Nutter on the bank holiday Monday afternoon at 2.30pm (cost £5).

This is in addition to the ticketed demos by festival headliners Simon Rimmer, Ainsley Harriott, and James Martin.

In the packed programme over the weekend, David Smart, the boss of Bolton bakery Greenhalghs, and local chefs Nick Cullen, Mike Harrison, and Alain Job, who runs Nkono food stall at Bolton Market, will also be cooking amazing dishes to get the crowd's tastebuds tingling.

Great British Bake-off star Luis Troyano and Come Dine With Me winner Polly Guy – who now has a successful chutney and preserves business - will also be appearing on Saturday.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “We have a fantastic line-up of regional chefs which just shows how popular our festival has become.

“Many of the chefs performing demos are household names and all are extremely talented. We are very lucky to have such a rich pool of talent in the North West.

“To have a chance to see such brilliant chefs over one weekend in the centre of Bolton is a great opportunity and we are delighted to host a showcase of their skills.”

Other chefs include: Kishnan Kant from Sai Spice in Farnworth; Scott Bannon from Boars Head in Hoghton; Andrew George from Icky Sticky Cakes; Laurence Tottingham who has worked with Heston Blumenthal; Rose Dummer, aka Rosie Cake Diva; pastry chef Jessica O’Keeffe from In Truffle We Trust, and John Sergeant from The Last Drop Village.

Tickets are not required for the free cookery demos. Tickets for the Aiden Byrne and Andrew Nutter cook-off and celebrity chefs are available from Bolton Octagon Theatre, via or by calling 01204 520661. The box office is open 9am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday.

For updates visit, follow Bolton Food and Drink Festival page on Facebook, @boltonfoodfest on Twitter or @boltonfoodfest on Instagram.

Friday, August 25:

Regional Chefs’ Marquee

12.30pm                      Kishnan Kant

1.30pm                        David Smart

2.30pm                        Scott Bannon

Lifestyle Hall, Bolton Market

11am                           Alain Job

12.30pm                      Scott Bannon

2pm                             Andrew George

3pm                             Kishnan Kant

Saturday, August 26:

Regional Chefs’ Marquee

10am                           Robert Owen Brown

11am                           Polly Guy

Noon                           Adam Reid

1pm                             Laurence Tottingham

2pm                             Polly Guy

3pm                             Luis Troyano

4pm                             Andrew George

Lifestyle Hall, Bolton Market

11am                           Nick Cullen

12.30pm                      Luis Troyano

2pm                             Robert Owen Brown

3pm                             Alain Job

Sunday, August 27:

Regional Chefs’ Marquee

10am                           Rose Dummer

11am                           John Whaite

Noon                           Mike Harrison

1pm                             John Whaite

2pm                             Jessica O'Keeffe

3pm                             Simon Wood

Monday, August 28:

Regional Chefs’ Marquee

11am                           Aiden Byrne

Noon                           Andrew Nutter

1pm                             Lewis Gallagher

2.30pm                        Aiden Byrne and Andrew Nutter cook off (paid for)

3.30pm                        John Sergeant



1. Luis Troyano

Luis shot to fame on the popular TV programme The Great British Bake Off, and aside from keeping his own bees in eight hives, Luis runs his own baking courses and published his first book in August 2015.

2. Andrew Nutter

Andrew was named Manchester Chef of the Year 2012. He opened “Nutters” near Rochdale, at the age of 21, and has recently opened The Bird at Birtle, Heywood.

3. Michael Harrison

Local chef Michael Harrison is Lancashire born and bred. He’s Bolton-trained and has over 20 years’ cooking experience.

4. Alain Job

Local chef Alain runs the popular Nkono food stall at Bolton Market. He won the Innovative Catering Business with the Guardian/O2 and the first Nottingham Dragon’s Den prize for small businesses.

5. Nick Cullen

Nick Cullen established Nick’s Restaurant back in 2001, bringing culinary flair and metropolitan flavour to a small corner of Bolton.

6. Simon Wood

2015 MasterChef Champion, Simon wowed the judges with his menu inspired by classic flavour combinations. Simon is now executive chef of Oldham Athletic FC, and has just opened his first restaurant Wood Manchester.

7. Aiden Byrne

Aiden was raised in Merseyside and has worked in many Michelin-starred establishments. After spending time in London mastering his skills and focusing his passion he moved closer to home and opened the critically acclaimed Manchester House with Living Ventures.

8. Andrew George

Andrew has a passion for baking since the age of five when introduced to it by his grandma. He works as a chef, food scientist and catering lecturer and his business Icky Sticky Cakes prides itself on making delicious gluten-free friand cakes.

9. Robert Owen Brown

Former Mark Addy head chef, Robert creates dishes from his imaginative use of the finest local produce. His career began at Manchester’s iconic Midland Hotel and he has worked in Scotland, France and Italy before returning to Manchester.

10. Jessica O’Keeffe

Jessica is a Dublin-born, Manchester-raised pastry chef with a passion for all things chocolate. She started her company In Truffle We Trust following her days as a pastry chef working at restaurants such as Abode.

11. Rose Dummer

Rose, aka Rosie Cake-Diva, was the first female pilot in the British Forces. After leaving to raise a family, she started making cakes for her children, a hobby which developed into a full time career! Her show-stopping skills created our full sized baby elephant cake in 2015.

12. John Whaite

British Cook, cookery author and TV presenter, John Whaite, won the third series of the BBC’s The Great British Bake Off, and now runs his own cookery school, John Whaite’s Kitchen, set in the heart of rural Lancashire. John is also the resident chef on ITV’s Lorraine.

13. Polly Guy

Polly grew up on a Norfolk farm where she picked fresh vegetables to prepare suppers. In 2011, Polly was a winner on Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me and won the 2016 Champion of Champions edition. Polly now has a successful chutney and preserves business.

14. Laurence Tottingham

Laurence spent four years working alongside Heston Blumenthal at the Fat Duck before assisting in the start-up of Heston’s Hinds Head. Laurence then worked with Paul Heathcote before going on to set up the Aumbry restaurant with chef Mary Ellen McTague.

15. Adam Reid

Born in Manchester, Adam started his culinary journey at 16, following training at Paul Heathcote’s School of Excellence. Adam took over the reins as head chef of The French in November 2016. Adam also appeared on the most recent BBC2 Great British Menu.

16. Kishnan Kant

Award winning chef Kishnan has 29 years’ experience of cooking great food. Kishnan worked at Spice Valley before opening his first restaurant, Sai Spice, in Farnworth. Over the years he has won culinary guild medals and Singapore Chef of the year.

17. David Smart

Dubbed Britain’s most passionate baker, the boss of Bolton bakery Greenhalghs, David has gone from an apprentice to a managing director at Greenhalghs in his 40 years at the company. He was adored by This Morning viewers during an appearance last year.

18. Scott Bannon

Bury born and bred, self-taught chef, Scott has worked in the hospitality industry for 35 years in local pub and restaurants around Lancashire. Scott owns and is the chef at the Boars Head country pub in Houghton.

19. Lewis Gallagher

Lewis is the head chef at Provenance Food Hall and Restaurant, Westhoughton. He won North West Young Chef of the Year 2012. Provenance was the only Bolton restaurant to be listed in the Good Food Guide 2017.

20. John Sergeant

Executive Head Chef at the Last Drop Village Hotel and Spa, Bolton, John brings a wealth of knowledge with more than 20 years in the industry. Having worked at the hotel previously a number of years ago, his return last year sees him now lead the team in the new challenges ahead.

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