Free tips from top chefs 

01/08/11
Stacie Stewart
TV regular Stacie Stewart will be appearing at the festival

A line-up of top chefs providing free cookery demonstrations at Bolton Food and Drink Festival has been revealed.

Bolton’s biggest festival to date, organised by the council, is taking place from Friday, August 26 to Monday, August 29. Celebrity chefs Michael Caines, Gino D’Acampo, Hairy Bikers and James Martin are appearing and organisers have also secured a mix of high profile chefs who the public can watch for free.

Demos will take place at the kitchen in Bolton Market, on Ashburner Street and at The Market Place Shopping Centre.

BBC Fusion chef Aazam Ahmad will entertain crowds in the market, at noon on Friday and Saturday. Aazam has starred in the festival in both 2009 and 2010.

A different chef will headline events at the Market Place Shopping Centre from Saturday, August 27 to Monday, August 29.

TV regular Stacie Stewart is the star of the show on Saturday. Stacie shot to fame after getting through to the semi-finals of Masterchef 2010. She now makes appearances on ITV1 show This Morning and runs The Beehive Bakery in Sunderland.

Bolton’s very own spice girl Anjali Patak will headline on Sunday. Anjali, from the Patak spice empire, displayed her skills to a packed audience in Victoria Square last year and was keen to be involved again. Consultant Executive Chef to Manchester City Football Club, John Benson-Smith will get tastebuds tingling on Monday. All the headline chefs’ demos are at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.

A range of other chefs are also on the menu at the shopping centre. Set to appear are: award-winning vegetarian chef Eddie Shepherd; Paul Morris, owner of the Chocolate Café in Ramsbottom; Nick O'Mahoney, Head Chef at Egerton House Hotel, Bolton; James Berry, Head Chef at Whitehall Hotel, Darwen; Jon Jones from The Brewhouse, Eagley and Chris Yates, owner of the Shoulder and Mutton in Holcombe Village. Their demos are at noon and 2pm.

Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “We have a fantastic mix of chefs appearing this year. We’re really pleased that we’ve been able to expand the festival offer to include demos at the market and the Market Place as that opens it up to more people.

“Whether you’re interesting in baking, want tips on making vegetables more interesting or love spicy food, there’s definitely something for everyone and I’d encourage everyone to come down.”

Rod Neasham, Centre Manager at Market Place Shopping Centre, added: “We're really pleased to be able to provide a new venue for shoppers and the general public to witness the very best in culinary expertise for free this year. The live cookery demonstrations from top chefs and regional experts will allow visitors to get first hand tips and tricks from these fabulous professionals.”

The festival, now in its sixth year, has established itself as a key event on the foodie calendar. In 2010 an estimated 75,000 visitors came to the four-day event. Local, regional, and specialist traders will entice shoppers with a range of food, drinks and craft products in a market that will take over Victoria Square and surrounding streets.

Two Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines is opening this year’s festival with a free demo in Victoria Square. Celebrity chefs Hairy Bikers, James Martin and Gino D’Acampo are also making appearances in the AGA Rangemaster Cookery Theatre in Victoria Square throughout the Bank Holiday weekend. Some tickets are still available for the celebrity chefs. Contact the Albert Halls box office on 01204 334400 or online via the Festival website.

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

Market Place Shopping Centre are also giving shoppers free parking in their multi-storey car park if they send £40 or more on any day throughout the whole event weekend.

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Salma Nakhuda
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