Food festival line-up revealed 

Photo of Italian chef Aldo Zilli
Aldo Zilli joins the celebrity chef line-up

Britain’s favourite baking duo, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, are to return to the Bolton Food and Drink Festival.

The Great British Bake Off judges are back by popular demand after selling out their baking demonstrations and proving a hit at last year’s festival.

This year’s four-day foodie spectacular will take place once again over the August Bank Holiday weekend, from Friday, August 23 to Monday, August 26.

Mary and Paul will perform their demos together on Saturday, August 24 in a dedicated marquee on Victoria Square.

Mary said: “I received such a warm welcome from the people of Bolton last year that I was only too happy to return to the food and drink festival in August.

“Everyone was so friendly and it was heartening to see so much interest in the art of baking.”

Paul added: “I was very impressed with Bolton and in particular their award-winning market.

“There was an abundance of fresh, local produce on offer and I am thrilled to be making a return visit. I look forward to seeing people at our demos.”

The festival, which attracted more than 102,000 visitors last year, will be launched by the two-Michelin starred chef Michael Caines on the Friday, and fellow festival favourite James Martin will take centre stage on Bank Holiday Monday, August 26.

Sunday’s star attraction will be top Italian chef and restaurateur, Aldo Zilli. Specialising in Italian and vegetarian cuisine, Aldo founded his own chain of restaurants, has written more than 10 books and has appeared on numerous television shows.

He has recently launched a new PR and marketing company, Zilli Media, and is currently Chef Consiliere to the award-winning San Carlo group, which includes restaurants in Manchester and London.

Aldo said: “I’m really looking forward to coming to the Bolton Food and Drink Festival and cooking up some delicious Italian food. I’m passionate about fresh and local produce, so I can’t wait to see what Bolton has to offer.”

The Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “There is no doubt that the Bolton Food and Drink Festival is firmly on the map as one of the best events of this type, and it just gets better and better each year.

“Last year’s festival beat all previous records in terms of visitor numbers and we are determined to make this year’s event one to remember. The fabulous Michael Caines will launch the festival once again and we have firm favourite James Martin entertaining the crowds on Monday.

“We were impressed with the impact Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry made on the audiences, so we were delighted they agreed to return again this year. And with the Italian flair of Aldo Zilli, the festival is bound to appeal to all tastes.”

More detailed information about the celebrity chef demos will be released soon and tickets will go on sale in May.

To keep up to date with the latest festival news, log on to the Food and Drink Festival website, visit Facebook and search for Bolton Food and Drink Festival or search for #boltonfoodfest on Twitter.

Bolton Food and Drink Festival is organised by Bolton Council and sponsored by Bolton College, Bluemantle, Crompton Place, Market Place Shopping Centre and Stateside Foods.

Our partners this year are The Octagon Theatre, Kro Bar, the Marriott Worsley Park Hotel, Bolton Market, Harvey Nichols and The Albert Halls.

Celebrity chef demos (times tbc)

Friday, August 23: Michael Caines
Saturday, August 24: Mary Berry & Paul Hollywood
Sunday, August 25: Aldo Zilli
Monday, August 26: James Martin

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Media contact
Karen Spibey
01204 332064