BOLTON Food and Drink Festival 2014 was launched to traders with a promise that this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever.

Celebrity chefs Gino D’Acampo, James Martin, John Torode and Michael Caines have already been booked to appear at the four-day extravaganza in Bolton town centre the August bank holiday.

Debbie Halls-Evans, winner of Channel 4’s The Taste, also joined chef Andrew Nutter at the launch, held at the Renaissance Hotel in Manchester city centre yesterday as it was revealed they would cook a seven-course gala dinner to kick-start the event.

Other plans for the festival include a dedicated children’s area along Le Mans Crescent and in the Octagon, while the Market Hall will host a variety of stalls — and its bosses say they hope the vaults underneath the shopping centre will be ready to be showed to the public.

Keith Davies, director of development and regeneration at Bolton Council, said more details will be revealed at the public launch in June.

He added: “Today we’re bringing Bolton into Manchester because we believe there is an opportunity to tell our partners and customers that they have a fantastic offer in Bolton in terms of the food and drink festival.

"Last year 130,000 people visited the festival — we know it is the largest festival in the region and we know that nearly all will be back.”

Andrew Nutter said he was thrilled to have been invited back to appear at the festival, which he has supported for three years.

He added: “I’ve done demonstrations all over the world, but Bolton is so amazing because I love the buzz around the stalls.”

The festival takes place on August 22 to 25. For more information visit