Book NOW for comfort food, curry collectives, Catalan cuisine and cocktails
Back for its 22nd year, Manchester Food and Drink Festival again promises twelve days of one-off dining delights this autumn...and organisers have revealed the first taster of what's to come.
Taking place from 26th September to 7th October, the annual urban celebration of local eating and drinking will move its popular ‘festival hub’ from Albert Square to Cathedral Gardens this year. Complete with a ‘Dining Dome', it'll be the epicentre of MFDF's programme of unique foodie events, and be surrounded by a variety of bars.
These include a debut gin bar from J.J. Whitley, whose premium spirits range has been inspired by the British countryside - including elderflower, nettle, violet and pink cherry - complemented by Lamb & Watt’s natural mixers; which include cucumber, hibiscus and basil tonics, as well as a refreshing ginger ale.
A huge craft beer bar will stock the very best local breweries, while MFDF's official lager partner Camden Town Brewery will also be pouring the likes of Camden Hells lager, pale ale and Show Off Juicy lager from their shipping container bar - as well as hosting tastings throughout the festival.
Visitors to the hub can also expect an artisan market, spanning local producers to street food heroes, and a live stage featuring some of Manchester’s best musical talent. There’ll also be guest chef demos, book signings, a cider fest and a host of yet-to-be-revealed surprise foodie guests.
Here are the events announced so far...
When: Thurs 26th Sept, 7.30pm
What: Bistrotheque Classique
One of Manchester’s most anticipated arrivals of 2019, Bistrotheque is set to open in July and has already organised its MFDF debut appearance in the form of a showcase banquet. Diners can expect great, uncomplicated food, drink and service delivered by way of a special MFDF menu created by Chef Director Blaine Duffy; which includes arrival cocktails, three courses, a quality wine pairing and digestif.
Tickets £45 available here
When: Fri 27th Sept, 7.30pm
What: An Evening with Simon Shaw
One of Manchester’s most innovative, exciting and respected chefs will be hosting an intimate evening in the Dining Dome, bringing together a special collection of his most renowned dishes from across his acclaimed restaurant brands El Gato Negro and Canto. Guests will be taken on a journey through Simon’s authentic and attentive cookery style via Spanish and Portuguese-inspired dishes inspired by Simon’s love of travel. Each course will be paired with a specially selected wine and tickets also include a drinks reception.
Tickets £55 available here
When: Tues 1st Oct, 7.30pm
What: Roots and Future – A Tasting Menu by Francisco Martinez of Fazenda Group in Aid of Action Against Hunger
After last year's sell-out extravaganza, Fazenda's Executive Chef Fran Martinez will return to the Dome with an exclusive eight-course tasting menu celebrating the cultural diversity of Fazenda's roots through Argentinian and Brazilian cuisines. Paired with exquisite South American wines and cocktails, each dish in this culinary journey fuses tradition with innovation. All proceeds from the evening will be donated to Fazenda's group charity, Action Against Hunger.
Tickets £50 available here
When: Wed 2nd Oct, 7.30pm
What: Comfort Food ‘Sounds’ Good – A Communal Feast by Adam Reid
MFDF’s 2018 'Restaurant of the Year' winner Adam Reid is to create a communal, comfort food feast inspired by his BBC Great British Menu Dish 'Comfort Food 'Sounds' Good.
In a temporary departure from his signature fine-dining style, Adam will host an evening of social eating and great British music at this laid-back gastro get together. The dish, based on his Grandad’s recipe – the ultimate ‘hug in a bowl’- is also inspired by Adam’s love of food and music. He invites guests to join him to feast on his version of chicken stew (crowns of organic Rhug Estate chicken, served with his elixir-like stew) against a playlist including The Beatles, Arctic Monkeys and Oasis. The feast will be complimented with specially matched cocktails.
Tickets £35 available here
When: Thurs 3rd Oct, 7.30pm
What: An Evening with Paco Perez and Tast
Catalan cuisine specialists Tast will host a three-course dinner designed, cooked and served by head chef Miquel Villacrosa and the multi-Michelin-starred Spanish cooking giant Paco Perez - Tast’s executive chef. Based in Barcelona, Paco is flying in especially for MFDF to offer a more casual Tast dining occasion in an extraordinary setting. Paco promises wonderful dishes inspired by the beautiful Catalan landscape: the sea and the mountains, the countryside and the cities. Guests will receive a glass of Cava on arrival, three-course menu and special MFDF cocktail.
Tickets £45 available here
When: Fri 4th Oct, 7.30pm
What: Curry Collective with Bundobust, Dishoom, Lily’s and Sanskruti
Kick off your weekend with a very special curry night hosted by four of the most exciting names from Manchester’s South Indian dining scene.
The banquet will begin with snacks from Gujarati street food legends Bundobust - who'll also be serving up matched craft beers with each course - alongside an arrival cocktail created by their team. Then, Bombay dining room Dishoom will cook up their Manchester special dish nalli nihari biryani ahead of two more incredible courses from Lily’s in Ashton and Sanskruti in Withington.
Tickets £40 available here
As well as Dining Dome events, MFDF has also announced a special collaboration with Manchester Art Gallery; the first of many partnerships to be announced to take place citywide…
When: Sat 5th Oct, 7pm
What: The Art of Dining with Aiden Byrne at Manchester Art Gallery
As the finale to Manchester Art Gallery’s unique series of art-meets-food supper clubs, Aiden Byrne - owner and executive chef at Restaurant MCR - will be teaming up with the art gallery curators to create the ultimate food and art feast.
Each of these exclusive events have seen Manchester’s best chefs create a one-off, immersive dining experience, themed around a different exhibition taking place in the stunning surroundings of Manchester Art Gallery. Aiden will be cooking a six-course tasting menu, each dish inspired by a different piece of art and accompanied by some background from both Aiden and the curators. A magical opportunity to celebrate two of life’s greatest pleasures in one of the city’s most magnificent venues.
Tickets £80 available here
And there's yet more to tuck into elsewhere...
What: Bookatable Festival Feast
When: 26th Sept - 7th Oct
Returning for the fourth year, there'll be double the number of restaurants taking part in this series of limited edition menus. Held in association with MFDF sponsor Bookatable, they'll be available throughout the festival.
More details can be found here
What: MFDF Wine and Fizz Festival
Where: Manchester Cathedral
When: 4th and 5th October
Although the wines will be serious, the the MFDF Wine and Fizz Festival promises a fun, light-hearted day or evening out for anyone who loves wine – from the passionate enthusiast to the novice fizz fan. As well as the opportunity to sample wines from a dozen brands and merchants, all included in the price, there'll be a multitude of bars, live music and artisan food; all in the Grade I listed surrounds of Manchester Cathedral.
Tickets £15 available here
What: MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards
Where: Gorton Monastery
When: 7th October
MFDF's annual festival finale returns to stunning Gothic venue Gorton Monastery to deliver the region's highest profile food awards; packed with representatives from the region’s top hospitality venues. The MFDF awards shortlist will be announced in June, when tickets will go on sale for this hotly anticipated event.