Top TV cook gets children involved in Bolton's Food and Drink Festival
8:00am Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
A MUM-OF-THREE who won a top TV cooking contest and became an inspiration to slimmers everywhere after losing 14 stone will take the lead at the Children’s Food and Fun Emporium.
The family friendly, four-day mix of cooking, crafts and creative fun will take place at Crompton Place as part of this year’s Bolton Food and Drink Festival.
The event has been organised by Bolton Council and has been sponsored by the shopping centre.
There to share her cooking skills and tips on healthy eating will be Justine Forrest, who achieved her dramatic weight loss in just 18 months and went on to become the victorious home cook on hit TV programme Michael Winner’s Dining Stars Businesswoman and marathon runner, Mrs Forrest will be holding half hour master classes on Friday, August 23 at noon and 2pm; Saturday, August 24 at noon; Sunday, August 25 at noon and 2pm, and Monday, August 26 at 2pm.
One of her main activities will be cake and biscuit decoration workshops with the children, which will include icing and little edible flowers and butterflies.
She said: "We're really going to have a laugh and it's all about getting youngsters interested in food.”
Malcolm Angus, Crompton Place manager, said he was delighted to welcome Justine to the shopping centre.
He added: “Having a cook of Justine’s calibre come and work with our young shoppers at the Children’s Food and Fun Emporium is a real privilege and I would urge families throughout Bolton to come and make the most of Justine’s time with us.
Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, said: “The Bolton Food and Drink Festival grows year on year and we are thrilled to be able to add the Children’s Food and Fun Emporium to the list of attractions on offer, in response to feedback we received following last year’s event.
“We are also grateful to Crompton Place for facilitating the event throughout the festival. I am sure that the emporium will be a big hit with families and hopefully attract even more people to Bolton.”
Mrs Forrest will also be cooking a selection of recipes from her book, Justine’s Journey, which details her amazing story.
She describes how she battled with her weight since her childhood.
Over the years she became steadily heavier and by the age of 38 was tipping the scales at an unhealthy 28 stone.
It was at this point she decided she must lose weight if she was to survive to see her three children grow up.
The 43-year-old from Longridge near Preston with her husband Chris, also 43, and children Millie, aged 17, Alex, aged 15, and 12-year-old Christopher, said: “I had to cope with indignities like getting stuck in the bath, being unable to do up the seat belt on a plane, breaking chairs and falling over in the supermarket and not being able to get back up again.
“Because of my size I could only sleep in a certain position and I was on medication for pain relief.”
Mrs Forrest embarked on a serious but well balanced diet, devising her own plan that revolved around eating and cooking healthily.
Eighteen months later she had halved her weight from 28 to 14st and her dress size dropped from 32-34 to just 16.
As the weight came off, her fitness and determination increased and she began to take up running.
On impulse, she applied to become a contestant on Michael Winner’s Dining Stars in which she had to cook a meal at her own home for the former film director.
She was Winner’s winner and since the series has become a celebrity, appearing on TV and radio shows and guesting at shows and festivals across the country, the latest of which is Bolton Food and Drink Festival.
Three years ago she started her own bakery business, Brownies By Justine Forrest, and hosts regular cooking courses at Wellbeing Farm in Edgworth.
She said: “I’ll be cooking my tomato and basil soup, chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella cheese and pancetta, and either carrot or banana cake.
“This will be my second time at the Bolton Food and Drink Festival and I’m really looking forward to being there again.”
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