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Treat yourself - watch top chefs at Rochdale Food and Drink Festival

15 January 2018

Nisha Katona.

The region's foodies are in for a treat – tickets are now on sale for cookery shows in the festival kitchen at Rochdale Food and Drink Festival, being staged on Saturday, 24 March 2018 in and around Rochdale Town Hall.

4 chefs will be cooking live during the new event, with 7 40-minute demonstrations scheduled packed with tips, techniques and the opportunity to ask questions and meet the hosts.

Multi award-winning Jean-Christophe Novelli and Indian street food restaurateur Nisha Katona will be among the chefs cooking at our festival alongside star foodie Andrew Nutter and young local chef Tom McNeeney.

Jean-Christophe Novelli.

As well as a renowned television personality, French celebrity chef Novelli runs his own cookery schools and is a successful restaurateur and author of a wide range of books. Dubbed 'the nation's favourite French chef' Jean Christophe is a 5 out of 5 AA Rosette and multi-Michelin star award winner, voted AA Chef's Chef of the Year and a previous recipient of the coveted Egon Ronay Dessert of the Year Award.

Indian curry chef Nisha Katona will be sharing her quick and easy dishes. The food writer, curry evangelist, teacher and owner of Manchester restaurant Mowgli, gave up her career as a barrister to focus on her passion for Indian food. Famous for creating simple dishes, a million miles away from the curry stereotype, her recipes are healthy, often vegan and packed with fresh flavour.

She promises authentic Indian dishes in 20 minutes using just 3 spices. Her second book – 'The Spice Tree' was published last year and she appeared at Rochdale Feel Good Festival in 2016.  Nisha has also appeared on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch, Saturday Kitchen and films for the Food Network as well as tweeting daily recipes to her 28,000 followers.

CBeebies 'I Can Cook' presenter Katy Ashworth is promising to bring her energetic burst of silliness and family fun to the festival indoor stage – presenting shows at 10:30am and 1:30pm aimed at children and grown-ups packed with games, sing a long songs and laughter, learning about where food comes from through music and imagination.

Katy Ashworth.

'A tempting range of food and drink traders and a programme of entertainment'

Local star chef Andrew Nutter has had an amazing career since coming runner-up in the National Junior Cook of the Year competition aged 13. 7 years later he launched 'Nutters' Restaurant, which soon expanded into the 18th century manor house it now occupies in Norden. He's won multiple awards, including Lancashire Chef of the Year, Restaurant of the Year, and 'Rochdale Man of the Year.'  Last year he opened his latest venture – gastropub 'The Bird at Birtle.'

At 4.30pm it'll be time for Tom McNeeney, head chef at local family pub The Oxford. He made his debut at Rochdale Feel Good Festival in 2016 and since then has firmly established himself on the area's culinary scene.

If you don't manage to grab a ticket for one of the demonstrations there'll be a seating area to watch chef demonstrations on big screens and soak up the festival atmosphere.

The festival kitchen will be located inside the grade one listed town hall along with plenty of stalls and FREE things to do. There'll be an outside food and drink village, a series of FREE themed workshops covering wine tasting, cocktail making, chocolate making and more plus live music from local acts.

Councillor Janet Emsley, the council's cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture, said:

"As well as the chef demonstrations we will have a tempting range of food and drink traders and a programme of entertainment, combining some of the best food elements of Rochdale Feel Good Festival with some new features."

The Gin Joint.

Most spaces for traders have been taken but organisers still need a few more traders who sell food to take home. To apply, email with details of your products.

Rochdale Food and Drink Festival is on Saturday, 24 March 2018, open from 10am-6pm and admission is FREE.

More information on Rochdale Food and Drink Festival and book tickets

Like the festival on Facebook and connect on Twitter @RochFoodFest.