Bolton Food and Drink Festival adds brand-new star guests

Gok Wan

The UK’s largest, record-breaking and award-winning food and drink festival is back!

2023 promises to be a special affair, as the Festival will celebrate it's 18th birthday in style with a brand-new menu of celebrity chefs and special events!

New to the plate this year, and topping the bill for Saturday’s feasts, is much loved chef, stylist, DJ, author and presenter, Gok Wan. 

A national treasure, Gok will take a spin in the main demo kitchen with some tasty Chinese cookery demos and then take to the decks in an all-new DJ set on the popular main stage, blasting out old school house music and club classics.

Sunday will welcome another new face to the Festival when business owner, charity founder, author, food presenter and TV cook, Nisha Katona MBE joins Team Bolton for the first time, leading the way for a spectacular Sunday spread.

Mowgli Street Food’s Nisha will be showcasing her love of Indian cooking in a range of cookery demos bringing new simple recipes to Bolton and sharing her infectious passion for all things food.

The Festival wouldn’t be complete without the welcome addition of, festival icon, James Martin who tops the guest list and returns to headline our Monday line up with his ever-popular cookery demos showing off his second-to-none culinary skills.

Helping to kick off the weekend’s celebrations, is festival ambassador and one of Britain’s most acclaimed chefs, successful hotelier and patron and fundraiser, Michael Caines MBE.

Michael, of luxurious Lympstone Manor, will once again be launching this year’s 18th birthday party in true Bolton style on Friday afternoon.

Celebrity chef cookery demos will once again take place in the impressive Festival Hall in The Albert Halls complex.

Plenty of free regional chef demos will also be taking place across the August Bank Holiday weekend, as part of a jam-packed programme to be announced in the coming weeks.

Featuring fun free children’s activities, live music each day, over 200 food, drink and arts and craft traders, world class street entertainment and some extra special events, this year’s festival is set to be an extravagant celebration of 18 years of Bolton’s flagship family event.

The festival is organised by Bolton Council in partnership with headline sponsor Peel L&P and you can find out more at

New celebrity chef for this year, Gok Wan said:

“I’m over the moon to be joining the team at Bolton Food and Drink Festival for the very first time.

“I’ve heard lots of good things about it and I can’t wait to be able to show the people of Bolton how to cook some delicious Asian inspired recipes.

“To also be able to showcase some of my all-time favourite music and blast out a DJ set on the live music stage is phenomenal.”

Chief Executive of Bolton Council, Sue Johnson said:

“Our flagship festival puts Bolton on the map year after year and people come from far and wide, even as far as Australia and South Africa!

“To have such prestigious chefs coming to Bolton to be part of our festival is fantastic.

“A bustling town centre really is great to see and the impact of the huge footfall on local businesses is even better.

“I am proud to be able to support local organisations, increase the economic impact and bring the town to life by nurturing the visitor economy in Bolton.”

Thank you to our headline sponsor and long term investor in Bolton, Peel L&P.  Without the support of sponsors, events like the Food and Drink Festival would not be possible.

Keep an eye on the socials for more announcements coming soon.

Published: 14th April 2023