On Friday I had the pleasure of visiting Bolton Food and Drink Festival.
My excitement has been building for weeks as organisers set out to make it the biggest event ever.
And big it is, with extra stalls, cookery demos, and even more goodies to sample.
(I tasted chicken and pepper paella from the traditional market stall, and a Manchester Tart chocolate bar from The Ramsbottom Chocolate Café.)
Now in its sixth year, it’s a four-day event showcasing the best in food and drink.
Celebrity chefs are making appearances over the weekend, including star of I’m A Celebrity... Gino D’Acampo; the Hairy Bikers, aka David Myers and Simon King; and Saturday Kitchen presenter and top chef James Martin.
Yesterday, I spoke to two Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines, of Abode in
, about where his love of food came from and how he copes with cooking under pressure. Manchester
The chef cooked three dishes at the festival: vegetable and herb soup; roasted curried monkfish with mussel and saffron sauce; and honey-glazed duck with mushroom sauce.
He added: “The demos are a bit hectic but I want to make them fun and engaging, and hopefully people will go away and buy some ingredients and have a go at the recipes themselves.
“I’m so impressed with the festival this year, it’s just phenomenal. There are lots of regional producers and it’s a great location in the heart of the town. And as always you get a warm welcome when you come to
Bolton and I haven’t stopped smiling since I got here.
“These events are important because they support the local economy and keep producers and farmers in business and they provide an event in the community for everybody to engage.
“At a time when some communities have been questioning the social fabric of society and times are tough, events like this give people the chance to celebrate life through food and drink.”
For details of events, visit www.boltonfoodanddrinkfestival.com