French flavour at Food and Drink Festival

Jean-Christophe Novelli
Jean-Christophe Novelli

HERE’S some news that will tickle your tastebuds in the New Year.

The Wigan Food and Drink Festival 2012 will be serving up a tasty French treat in the form of Jean Christophe Novelli.

The Hell’s Kitchen star and former personal chef to the Rothschild family will cook up a story at the festival’s outdoor market kitchen theatre before heading to the DW Stadium for a special Food of Love Night.

There, guests will find out about the man himself, his exciting life and his love for food while enjoying love-themed four course meal.

Attempting to top this year’s festival which was hailed the best yet, Something for the Weekend’s Simon Rimmer will take a trip to the borough to close the event which runs from March 1 until 11.

He will host an evening dedicated to great food and drink of Greater Manchester accompanied by the unique entertainment of Wigan Comedy Folk Band Chonkinfeckle during the night at Haigh Hall.

Organiser Keith Bergman from Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust said: “What started five years ago with a couple of restaurant events, has today, like a fine wine or cheese - matured nicely into a regionally significant and well respected food and drink festival.

“A festival that is not only enjoyed by large audiences, but appreciated by the local food and drink sector, who recognise the festival’s wider contribution.

“The festival brings together and shines a spotlight on local restaurants, restauranteurs, chefs, suppliers and producers in a genuine celebration of what is good about Wigan Borough’s food and drink industry.

“In 2012, we are stretching our boundary to celebrate Greater Manchester produce and producers.”

Kicking off the festival once again is Wigan’s hugely popular CAMRA Beer Festival.

Celebrating 25 years of quenching residents’ thirsts, joint organiser of the CAMRA Beer Festival, Ken Worthington said: “We’re delighted to once again get this year’s Food and Drink Festival underway.”

“It’s brought another dimension to the festival and we’re thrilled to be part of it.”

Other festival highlights include six days of the Outdoor Market Kitchen Theatre, numerous food and drink demonstrations and exhibitions in the community and a continental marketplace.