YOUNG cooks wowed renowned chef Michael Caines at this year’s Bolton Food and Drink Festival.

The aspiring chefs from Bolton Lads and Girls Club went head-to-head putting both their entrepreneurial and cooking skills to the test at the Market Place.

Incorporating various factors such as recipes, total ingred-ient costs, price structure, brand name and packaging, the teams took to the stage at the shopping centre’s regional chef tent in Corporation Street and pitched their ideas and business strategy to the judges.

Samples of each of the unique products — Top of the Pops, Tower Delight and Cookie Combo — were then sold in the Market Place.

Nikki Wilson-Cook, centre manager of the Market Place, was on the judging panel and tasted the treats which included shortbread stacks, cookie sandwiches and colour-ful cake pops.

She said: “The food festival challenge was a great opport-unity to engage with young-sters from our chosen charity of the year.

“We are incredibly impressed with the thought and time they put into developing such smart yet tasty products.”

Local chef Mike Harrison and Bolton FM’s Keith Harris also joined the Dragons Den-style panel, but it was award winning chef Michael Caines who delivered the winning categories.

The winning teams were Top of the Pops (best sales), Tower Delight (best taste) and Cookie Combo (best branding).

Mr Harrison said: “We were all really impressed with the business pitches delivered by each team, the product and the overall business presented. The Market Place Food Festival Challenge may be the start of the next big thing in food in Bolton.”

For more information about the Market Place visit