Jumbo surprise for birthday celebrations 

John Torode at the festival last year

A 5ft 7ins elephant crafted entirely out of cake will take pride of place at Bolton Food and Drink Festival.

Created by master baker Rose Dummer, also known as Rosie Cake-Diva, for the festival’s 10th birthday celebrations, the cake will be unveiled on Friday when the four-day foodie event gets underway.

The elephant has long been a historic symbol of Bolton and has featured on the town’s coat of arms since 1799.

Made from Genoise sponge and covered in 150kg of icing and 30kg of chocolate ganache, the elephant weighs in at close to 250kg – the equivalent of three celebrity chefs.

He will also balance a basket of edible fruit, vegetables and savoury delights on his trunk.

Rosie was the Army Air Corp’s first female helicopter pilot, before she turned her attention to baking and is now one of the UK’s top cake designers, reknowned for constructing elaborate cakes.

The huge cake will be on display throughout the festival, and will then be shared between local charity Urban Outreach and festival-goers.

Set-up is now underway for the festival, which takes place from August 28 to 31. The event is organised by Bolton Council, in association with Aldi, which is opening a state of the art distribution centre in the town later this year.

Construction of the marquees, which will host the chefs’ demonstrations, is now complete. Michelin-starred Michael Caines will officially launch the festival on Friday from the regional chefs’ marquee, on Le Mans Crescent. The celebrity chefs’ marquee, on Victoria Square, will host festival headliners Lisa Faulkner, John Torode and James Martin.

Set up of the speciality markets has also started. A record 180 food, drink and craft traders will take over the town centre. The markets, opening from 10am, will be located on Victoria Square, Newport Street, Oxford Street, Deansgate, and Market Street as well as four new locations: Howell Croft South, Octagon Square, and Victoria Square North and Victoria Square South.

Festival regulars returning include Franca’s, back for the fourth year with authentic Italian food, Masterchef finalist Jackie Kearney, with her vegetarian food trailer Hungry Gecko; and popular ice cream maker Gingers Emporium,

New for this year is a pop-up cocktail bar on Oxford Street. Market Place Europe will provide a pop-up beer garden on Newport St and Manchester bar Kro will also be hosting a bar on Deansgate. Revellers can enjoy a drink to the backdrop of live music in both venues. The bars will open until late.

Street food will take over Market Street. Festival-goers can experience Indian, Thai and Spanish street food. Award winning Indian and Pakistani restaurant Zouk, from Manchester, is back along with Spanish churros stall Churtopia, and Two Sisters Thai food.

Deansgate and Oxford Street will also be bustling with food stalls including Artisan bread maker All You Knead and The Little Round Cake Company with their popular ‘tweeners’ and meringues.

Octagon Square will have a range of arts and crafts stalls selling products including handmade cards, and jewellery.

Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said: “Every celebration needs a big cake and we’ve pulled out all the stops for what will be a 10th birthday to remember. Thousands of people travel from all around to enjoy the Bolton Food and Drink Festival and we look forward to welcoming everyone to the party this year.”

Aldi Logistics Director, Virgil Simpson, added: “The Bolton Food and Drink Festival is a celebration of quality local produce and suppliers, and we are pleased to be headline sponsors, particularly in the 10th anniversary year of the festival.  Bolton Council has so many exciting initiatives planned over the Bank Holiday weekend, and we are looking forward to seeing the quality and variety of food and drink that Bolton has to offer.”

As well as the celebrity chef demonstrations in the main marquee on Victoria Square, the public are invited to free cookery shows in Bolton Market’s Lifestyle Hall on Ashburner Street and in the regional chefs’ marquee on Le Mans Crescent. Chefs include Andrew Nutter, Sean Wilson, and GBBO’s Luis Troyano.

CBeebies’ star Katy Ashworth will also be entertaining daily with half-hours shows in a marquee on Le Mans Crescent. The cast from the Octagon Theatre will also be putting on free pop-up theatre performances.

Keep up to date with the latest news via the website, follow Bolton Food and Drink Festival page on Facebook or @boltonfoodfest on Twitter. Parking is free all weekend and Bank Holiday Monday in NCP multi-storeys (Octagon, Deane Road, Topp Way).

Sponsors are Aldi, Greenhalgh’s, Ikea, Market Place Shopping Centre and Stateside Foods. Partners are Agilisys, Bolton Market, Impression Ltd, Kro Bar, Marriott, Octagon Theatre, and Slattery.

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Media contact
Salma Nakhuda
01204 331015