Five star chefs for festival 

Mary Berry
Starring at the festival: Queen of baking, Mary Berry

The queen of baking will star at this year’s Bolton’s Food and Drink Festival.

Mary Berry was revealed as one of the headline acts by council chiefs at a launch in Harvey Nichols, Manchester.

She will appear alongside fellow judge from The Great British Bake Off, Paul Hollywood.

Mary Berry said: “I am looking forward to coming to Bolton Food and Drink Festival for the first time. I hope I can rise to what I’m sure will be a fabulous occasion.”

Paul Hollywood added: “I can’t wait to sample a slice of Bolton life at the festival. I hope it will prove to be a great opportunity to inspire bakers of all ages.”

Also topping the bill for the town’s seventh festival is Michelin-starred French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli. He added: “I’m really looking forward to coming and cooking at the festival having heard such good things about it.”

Yorkshire favourite James Martin will make a welcome return with the country's best chef, Michael Caines, completing the line-up.

The festival will take place from Friday, August 24 to Monday, August 27. Mr Caines will open the festival using local and regional produce as his theme.

Tickets for the demonstrations will go on sale in June.

Organised by Bolton Council, and sponsored by Bolton College and Bluemantle, the festival has grown year-on-year with an estimated 94,000 people visiting in 2011.

Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Linda Thomas, said: “This year we have expanded our fantastic line-up of celebrity chefs to make it even more diverse, and to attract even more people to the event.

“To have Mary, the undisputed queen of baking, at the festival with fellow baking expert, Paul, is a real coup for Bolton. Each year we work hard to make the festival bigger and better so it continues to be regarded as one of the best in the country. The festival attracts thousands of visitors from across the country, providing a welcome tourism boost for our businesses.”

A dedicated marquee for celebrity chefs’ cookery demonstrations will be in Victoria Square. Other highlights of the festival include cookery demonstrations by local and regional chefs at Bolton Market, Ashburner Street and the Market Place Shopping Centre.

A speciality market, in Victoria Square and surrounding town centre streets, with local, regional, and specialist traders will also entice visitors with a range of food, drink and craft products.

To keep up to date with the latest festival news, visit, follow @boltoncouncil on Twitter, or search for Bolton Food and Drink Festival on Facebook.

The festival line-up

Paul Hollywood is a judge on The Great British Bake Off,  which pitted 10 amateur cooks against each other in a bid to find the nation’s best baker. He is one of the UK’s leading artisan bakers but he originally trained as a sculptor. He first turned his hand to the art of bread-making at the age of 17, when he served an apprenticeship within his father’s business.

Mary Berry, queen of cakes, specialises in Aga cookery and cakes and desserts. She is a regular contributor to TV and radio food programmes and has written more than 50 bestselling cookery books. She was a fellow judge on The Great British Bake Off.

Jean-Christophe Novelli began his career at the age of 14 as a baker in his home town of Arras, Northern France. He arrived in Great Britain in 1983 and in 1996 he opened four restaurants in London. Over his career, he has accumulated four Michelin stars. He is a TV regular and runs his own cookery school, The Novelli Academy.

Michael Caines’ two-Michelin-starred Gidleigh Park restaurant in Devon, won the Remy Martin XO Excellence Award for the UK's best all-round restaurant, in the Harden's Restaurant Survey 2011. 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. He said: "I had a fantastic time when I came last year and I am so pleased to be asked back to open the festival. I really believe that food festivals are hugely important and Bolton’s is one of the best I’ve been to.”

James Martin is a regular at Bolton Food and Drink Festival and will notch up his fourth appearance at this year’s event. He is a Yorkshireman, with a passion for proper British food and fast cars. He worked in professional kitchens from the age of 10 and at the age of 11, he cooked for the Queen Mother. At 16, fellow chef Antony Worrall Thompson noticed his work and gave him a job at his London restaurant, 190 Queensgate. He said: “I’ve been coming for the past few years and each year it just gets busier and better thanks to the council’s efforts. I am really looking forward to coming back and cooking up some great dishes that are simple and easy to make.”

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