Tickets to the hottest food events on Bolton's culinary calendar are now up for grabs.
Celeb chefs James Martin and the Hairy Bikers are the trio starring in this year's Bolton Food and Drink Festival, being held from August 28 to 30. And this year fans have a chance to get even more up close and personal with their fave chefs.
Town hall chiefs have laid on a three day foodie spectacular and, for the first time in the event's history, people can purchase tickets to reserve their seats and grab a slice of the action.
The festival has been organised in association with Bolton’s family baker Warburtons.
Bearded duo Si King and Dave Myers will be roaring into town for a glittering four course banquet in the Town Hall on Friday 28 at 7.30pm. The evening includes a champagne reception with a menu featuring four courses. Tickets cost £35 for the event.
Highlights over the weekend include cooking demonstrations from all three chefs in Victoria Square, using the Rangemaster Cookery Theatre. The Hairy Bikers will be entertaining audiences with their inimitable style of cooking and conversation on Saturday, August 29 at 11am and 3pm. James Martin will take centre stage on Sunday. The Yorkshire chef will be cooking in the marquee on Sunday August 30 at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Tickets cost £3 for the demos.
Added ingredients for the three-day feast include a tapas and wine tasting session with Bolton chef Mike Harrison, owner of Zest Deli and Stuart Rothwell from The Vineyard on Friday 28 August at 4pm and 5pm. Tickets cost £2.
And the popular ale trail with accredited Blue badge guide and ale aficionado Ray Hoerty is also on the menu. Ray will lead visitors around Bolton town centre and narrate stories about the history of the pubs on Friday, August 28 at 6pm. Tickets cost £5.
Councillor John Byrne, Bolton Council’s Executive Member for Development, said: "We’re raising the bar with the introduction of brand new events for our fourth food fest to compliment some tried and tested ones like the ale trail. We know James and the Hairies have strong fan bases but places are limited. Mike's also a popular local chef and tapas wine tasting at £2 a head is a winner. Our advice is quite simply to reserve your seats early as these tickets are going to sell like hot cakes."
Jonathan Warburton, Chairman of Warburtons, added: "Warburtons began in Bolton over 130 years ago when my great great Aunt Ellen baked the first Warburtons loaves in her small grocery shop on Blackburn Road. Our headquarters and two of our bakeries are located just yards from this original site and therefore food in Bolton will always remain very important to myself and my cousins. We are delighted to be sponsoring this event for the first time and believe it will be a great success."
The pick of the region's finest produce, from fresh vegetables to succulent meats, will be on sale throughout the festival as local farmers and producers take over Victoria Square.
Tickets for all events can be purchased from the Albert Halls box office on 01204 334400.
Look out for restaurant concessions, tastings and first-class entertainment. For more information see link on the right hand side.
Visitors can also park in Breightmet Street car park at a special all day rate for £1 on Friday and Saturday of the event. Pay and display car parks managed by NCP and on-street parking are also free on Sunday.