Pop-up restaurant nights with celebrity chefs have been added to the menu for Bolton’s Winter Festival.
Former BBC Masterchef finalist Jackie Kearney and Manchester chef Robert Owen Brown will join 2015 Masterchef winner Simon Wood and Great British Bake Off finalist Luis Troyano for a series of Christmas-themed cookery events.
The festival, organised by Bolton Council, takes place from November 28 to January 3.
New this year are two giant tipis in Victoria Square, which will host the pop-ups and cookery demos.
On December 3 and 10 (noon to 2pm) and 17 (6pm to 8pm) Luis will demonstrate three festive bakes – Christmas star bread, frangipane tart, gingerbread Christmas cake.
Afternoon demos cost £5 and include a hot drink. Tickets for the evening demo are £7.50 and include a glass of fizz. Samples of all three bakes will be available at all of the demos.
And a total of six pop-up restaurant nights will be held in December. Dinner is 6.30pm for a 7pm start except Jackie’s, which is 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets are £30.
On December 4 and 5, Jackie Kearney, who runs Chorlton street food pop-up and supper club The Hungry Gecko, will be cooking a menu inspired by her travels from India to Indonesia. Dishes include pani puri pops, Malaysian rendang and baked Alaska, with pistachio sponge served with Ginger’s Comfort Emporium chai spiced ice cream.
On December 11, and 12, Robert Owen Brown will be cooking up a five-course fine dining experience inspired by the carol, 12 days of Christmas.
Robert, who was behind the Mark Addy restaurant, will be treating diners to courses including “four calling birds” – a bird in a bird in a bird, sat in a pear tree, served with drumsticks.
Masterchef champion Simon Wood will be bringing a Nordic supper experience, on December 18 and 19. Since winning, he has been appointed executive chef of Oldham Event Centre part of Oldham Athletic Football Club. His menu includes roasted cod and a dessert of apple cake with fudge caramel.
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “We are determined to make this year’s Winter Festival the best ever.
“People have a passion for good food and they love seeing celebrity chefs, which was no more evident than at this year’s successful Food and Drink Festival, and we believe these pop-restaurants and cookery demonstrations will be incredibly popular.
“It would be a good idea to book as soon as possible as tickets are bound to sell out quickly.”
Places are limited. Book tickets on www.visitbolton.com/winterfestival/tipi or from the on-site box office.
Other highlights of the festival include two ice rinks, a Santa’s grotto, a nativity scene and a festive Artisan Market along Deansgate (December 1 to 6). The special Winter Festival programme will follow the Christmas Lights switch-on, held on November 19.
Market Place Shopping Centre is sponsoring the ice rinks and the grotto is being sponsored by Party and Play Funhouse, from Westhoughton.