Some of the country’s best chefs will share their culinary expertise in a series of free cooking demonstrations at this year’s Bolton Food and Drink Festival.

May WakefieldIn a weekend fit for foodies, Great British Bake Off finalist Luis Troyano will join the likes of Michelin-starred chef Russell Brown, celebrity chef Andrew Nutter, former Corrie star Sean Wilson, and Thai restaurateur May Wakefield.

The festival, which is celebrating its 10th birthday this year, takes place from August 28 to Monday, August 31. It is organised by Bolton Council in association with Aldi, which is opening a state-of-the-art distribution centre in the town later in the year. Aldi will be hosting a recruitment marquee for their new centre at the event.

THE GREAT NORTHERN COOKBOOK by Sean Wilson. Hodder & Stoughton Publishers 2012.Free demonstrations will take place throughout the festival in the Lifestyle Hall, at Bolton Market on Ashburner Street and in a regional chefs’ marquee on Le Mans Crescent. Aldi will also be supplying ingredients for the chefs’ store cupboards.

The regional chefs’ programme will complement demos by festival headliners Michael Caines, Lisa Faulkner, John Torode and James Martin.

Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines will officially launch the festival in the regional chefs’ marquee on August 28 with a free cookery demonstration at 1pm. Lisa, John and James will be doing ticketed cookery demos in the celebrity chefs’ marquee from August 29 to 31.

lisa faulknerSome of the highlights of the regional chefs’ programme include Luis Troyano who was a contestant on the last series of BBC TV’s The Great British Bake Off. He will be in Bolton Market on August 29 at 11am and in the regional chefs’ marquee at 2pm, where he will be telling crowds what it’s really like in the ‘Bake-Off’ tent and sharing his top tips with budding bakers.

Thai chef and restaurateur May Wakefield learnt to cook as a child in Prachinburi Province, east of Bangkok, watching her mother cook for farm workers and prepare seven-course evening banquets.

She started her first Chilli Banana restaurant in Wilmslow with her husband Steve around 20 years ago. May is now one of the North West’s most successful chefs heading a team that recreates Thai flavours from popular Bangkok street food to five-star skyscraper restaurant cuisine, in three successful restaurants across the north west.

She will be cooking dishes from her debut cookbook ‘Chilli Banana’ on August 30 at noon in the marquee and at 3pm in the market.

Russell Brown was chef-owner of Dorset’s only Michelin-starred restaurant Sienna, and he will be cooking in the Le Mans Crescent marquee at 11am and 3pm on August 29.

Andrew NutterFlamboyant chef Andrew Nutter is a familiar face at the festival. He will be entertaining the audience on August 31 at 11am and 3pm, and in the Ashburner Street market at 1pm.

Also returning to the festival will be Coronation Street actor turned chef and successful cheese maker, Sean Wilson. Sean will be sharing his expertise with festival-goers at Bolton Market on August 29 at 1pm and on August 31 at 3pm.

There will be 26 cookery demos by 16 chefs over the course of the four days and for full details visit

Leader of Bolton Council, Councillor Cliff Morris, said:
“The free demonstrations provide a perfect opportunity for people to learn some fantastic cooking tips which they can try at home, and to meet the chefs from their favourite restaurants.”“The demos have grown in popularity every year with visitors to the festival and we’re really looking forward to welcoming some familiar faces as well as some new names.”

Further information about the festival is available on the website, follow Bolton Food and Drink Festival page on Facebook or @boltonfoodfest on Twitter.

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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Full schedule of regional chef demos:

Friday, August 28:

Lifestyle Hall, Bolton Market:
11am                           Anthony Prince (chef lecturer) and Kate Robinson (2015 Northcote scholarship student)

2pm                             Sean Wilson

Regional Chefs’ Marquee, Le Mans Crescent:

1pm                             Michael Caines

3.30pm                        Sean Wilson


Saturday, August 29:

Lifestyle Hall, Bolton Market:
11am                           Luis Troyano
1pm                             Sean Wilson

Regional Chefs’ Marquee, Le Mans Crescent:

11am                           Russell Brown

Noon                           Jackie Kearney (Masterchef finalist, owner of Hungry Gecko)

1pm                             Tom Gardner (executive head chef, Marriott Renaissance City Centre hotel)

2pm                             Luis Troyano

3pm                             Russell Brown


Sunday, August 30:

Lifestyle Hall, Bolton Market:
11am                           Anthony Prince and Kate Robinson
1pm                             Andrew Parker (head chef George’s Worsley)

3pm                             May Wakefield

Regional Chefs’ Marquee, Le Mans Crescent:

11am                           Andrew Parker

Noon                           May Wakefield

1pm                             Chris Yates (chef, Shoulder of Mutton)

2pm                             Anthony Prince and Kate Robinson

3pm                             Alain Job (Caribbean chef, Nkono stall at Bolton Market)


Monday, August 31:

Lifestyle Hall, Bolton Market:
11am                           Jon Jones (head chef, Farmers Arms)
1pm                             Andrew Nutter

3pm                             Sean Wilson

Regional Chefs’ Marquee, Le Mans Crescent:

11am                           Andrew Nutter

Noon                           Nick Cullen (from Nick’s Restaurants)

1pm                             Phil Perera and Omar Farag (Dragon’s Den)

2pm                             Jon Jones

3pm                             Andrew Nutter