A chance to recognise and celebrate our wonderful hospitality industry in their toughest year
We were pleased to report recently that Manchester Food & Drink Festival will be going ahead this autumn. The 23rd annual citywide festival will take place from 24th September to 5th October 2020 and will be the first major festival to take place in the city centre since the COVID-19 crisis began.
The Festival Hub will be in Cathedral Gardens, with a new layout and various systems designed to ensure reasonable social distancing measures (read more here). There’ll also be the usual packed programme of events in partnership with the city’s restaurants, bars, cafes and chefs with a special focus on celebrating Manchester’s diverse and resilient hospitality industry, which has certainly had a challenging year.
While it is not possible to run the awards in the usual way this year, we felt it was more important than ever to recognise and celebrate our hospitality sector
But what about the much anticipated Manchester Food and Drink Awards, which usually round off the annual festival with a hospitality filled gala dinner? These awards usually mark the culmination of months of mystery dining visits and meetings by members of the MFDF judging panel, which includes a number of the region's leading food and drink experts, food writers and hospitality consultants.
Obviously they haven’t been able to visit restaurants in person for a significant chunk of the year, but this doesn’t mean that the awards shouldn’t go ahead in some form.
The MFDF organisers and judges felt strongly that there needed to be some way to recognise and celebrate the amazing creativity, energy, innovation and adaptability shown by Greater Manchester restaurants, chefs and hospitality teams despite the restrictions forced upon them back in March when lockdown forced all restaurants to close.
The nominations for the 23rd Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards have been announced today. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the huge impact it has had upon the hospitality sector, the 2020 awards have been adapted for this year; with changes to format, award categories and the MFDF gala dinner and awards ceremony.
A host of new categories have been created especially for this unprecedented year - all designed to recognise the industry’s impressive innovations and adaptations since lockdown and beyond. New awards for 2020 include Best DIY Delivery Food Offering, Best Food and Drink Box Delivery, Best Innovation and Lockdown Heroes.
There will be no mystery shopping by the judges this year, as voting will be carried out entirely by the public via the MFDF website and the brand new MFDF app (which will be downloadable from early September).
The awards ceremony itself will be taking place at a venue to be announced and live streamed so that, for the first time, the industry and wider public will be able to watch at the same time. More details on this to be announced soon.
Commentating on the awards, Manchester Food & Drink Festival founding director Phil Jones said: “This year’s Festival awards are taking place at an extraordinary time – the most difficult period yet for our industry, and against the backdrop of a global crisis. It’s been a very tough year for restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes - but we’ve also seen a huge amount of innovation, creativity and community focused altruism from the hospitality industry. While it is not possible to run the awards in the usual way this year, we felt it was more important than ever to recognise and celebrate our hospitality sector. This year’s awards, delivered with the help of our sponsor Just Eat, are designed to celebrate, showcase and support our brilliant dining community in 2020 and beyond.”
And the nominations are...
BEST ONLINE ‘AT HOME’ FOOD AND DRINK CONTENT SPONSORED BY MODA ANGEL GARDENS
Recognising the best online food and drink content shared during lockdown by Manchester’s chefs, producers and industry experts.
Andrew Nutter (pictured) – For his online cookery videos broadcast via social media
Cork of the North- For their live wine tasting masterclasses broadcast via social media
Higher Ground - For their live cook-alongs broadcast via social media
Manchester Gin - For their live gin masterclasses broadcast via social media
Rachel Stockley from Baratxuri - For her online cookery videos broadcast via social media
Sienna & Maurizio Cecco from Salvi’s – For their live cook-alongs and online cookery videos all broadcast via social media
Simon Wood - For his online cookery videos broadcast via social media
Six By Nico - For their Now Cooking series broadcast via social media
THE BEST RESTAURANT TAKEAWAY ADAPTATION SPONSORED BY JUST EAT
Recognising restaurants who have adapted their business model, menus and offering to provide a takeaway/delivery service during lockdown.
61 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2AG
Cutting Room Square, 41 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AJ
Hip Hop Chip Shop
44 Blossom Street, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6BF
Mughli Charcoal Pit
30 Wilmslow Road, Rusholme, Manchester M14 5TQ
Rudy’s Pizza (pictured above)
9 Cotton Street, Ancoats, Manchester M4 5BF
Six by Nico
60 Spring Gardens, Manchester M2 2BQ
Wolf at The Door
30 - 32 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1ER
34 Princess Street, Manchester M1 4JY
BEST DIY DELIVERY FOOD OFFERING SPONSORED BY ROOMZZZ APARTHOTELS
Recognising the restaurants, chefs and businesses who have created ‘do it yourself’ recipe delivery meal kits for people to create their own restaurant quality meals/dishes at home.
Adam Reid - Great British Menu Box (read our review here)
Baratxuri - Menu Delivery Boxes
1 Smithy St, Ramsbottom, Bury BL0 9AT
DD’s Burgers @ The Koffee Pot - The Lockdown DIY Burger Kit (read our review here)
84- 86 Oldham Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1LE
Elite Bistros at Home
Hawksmoor at Home (read our review here)
184, 186 Deansgate, Manchester M33WB
Northern Soul - Grill it Yourself Kit
Unit 10-11 Church Street, Manchester M4 1PN
Wood at Home (read our review here)
WOOD Manchester, Jack Rosenthal St, Manchester M15 4RA
Yao Yao Noodles - Ramen Kit Delivery
18 Red Bank, Manchester M4 4HF
BEST FOOD AND DRINK BOX DELIVERY
Recognising the best food and drink delivery boxes created to serve the community with fine food and drink during lockdown.
Grandad Sausages - “The Sausage Hotline”- Delivering BBQ Kits and Breakfast Packs
Great North Pie Co - Pie Box Delivery
Dearway Trading Estate, Wilmslow Road, Handforth, Wilmslow SK9 3HW
Lupo Caffe Italiano - Italian Treats and Veg Boxes
Boat Shed, 2.05, 16 Exchange Quay, Salford M5 3EQ
R Noone and Son- Fruit and Veg boxes
R Noone & Son, Units 2,3 & 4 Southside, Bredbury Park Way, Stockport SK6 2SP
Reserve Wines - Wine Box Deliveries
176 Burton Road, Manchester M20 1LH
ShinDigger Brewing Co - Beer Delivery Boxes In Under 3 Hours
Unit 11, Springfield Lane Industrial Estate, Salford M3 7JQ
The Crafty Cheese Man - Cheese Board Delivery Boxes
Zouk - BBQ Boxes
Unit 5, Chester Street, Manchester M15QS
Recognising the most impressive business innovations by food and drink operators during the COVID-19 crisis.
Grub-E-Mart - hosting street vendors online for orders and collections
50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M4 4HF
Levenshulme Market - providing a platform for traders to go online as well as local charities
Stockport Road, Manchester M19 3PW
Andrew Nutter - Nutter’s Cheese and Wine Boutique
Nutters Restaurant, Edenfield Road, Rochdale OL12 7TT
Cloudwater - supporting other breweries through the crisis, letting them use their webshop and supporting Higher Ground with deliveries
7-8 Piccadilly trading Estate, Manchester M1 2NP
Didsbury Gin - being the first gin company to move production to hand sanitiser
Conavon Court, 12 Blackfriars Street, Salford, M3 5BQ
Manchester Union Lager - growler collection and refills
96 N Western Street, Manchester M12 6JL
House of Hops - investing in canning production to enable them to order, pour, seal and deliver beer on the same day
1 Pendlebury Road, Swinton, Manchester M27 4AG
Stretford Foodhall - finding innovative ways to serve the community right the way through lockdown... from street food takeaway to free grocery delivery for the vulnerable
Chester Road, Stretford, Manchester M32 9BD
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
Recognising the best new food and drink operations to open in Greater Manchester since the last awards decision period.
The Bull & Bear
4 Norfolk Street, Manchester M2 1DW
The Edinburgh Castle Pub
Henry Street & Blossom Street, Manchester M4 5AW
Escape to Freight Island
Baring Street, Manchester M1 2PZ
Six By Nico
60 Spring Gardens, Manchester M2 2BQ
103 Cross Street, Sale M33 7JN
72 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester M4 5BG
Stretford Food Hall
Chester Road, Stretford, Manchester M32 9BD
BEST ONLINE VEGGIE/VEGAN OFFERING
This award recognises the restaurants and food businesses that have provided innovative and exciting menu options for vegetarian and vegan diners via takeaway/delivery services during lockdown.
Blue Caribou Canteen
Yao Yao Noodles
Vaso Indian Kitchen
The Walled Gardens by Eddie Shepherd (read our review)
ARTISAN DRINKS PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
This award recognises the plethora of fabulous local drinks produce, from gins and ciders to ales and meads, produced in Greater Manchester.
Manchester Union Lager
ShinDigger Brewing Co
Track Brew Co
TAKEAWAY COFFEE EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR
This category recognises quality coffee takeaways during the COVID-19 crisis. *This category is an adaptation of The Coffee Shop of the Year award and only recognises those businesses that were able to stay open via takeaway.
Just Between Friends
56 Tib Street, Manchester M4 1LG
Federal Cafe Bar
9 Nicholas Croft, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1EY
Foundation Coffee House
Lever Street, Manchester M1 1JB
Ancoats General Store
57 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester M4 5AB
Bridge Street, Manchester M3 3BW
Heart & Graft Coffee
Unit 1, 30 Droylsden Road, Holyoak St, Manchester M40 1HB
Another Heart to Feed
220 Burton Road, Manchester M20 2LW
Manchester Coffee Co
84 Hewitt St, Manchester M15 4GB
STREET FOOD TRADER OF THE YEAR
Awarding one of the Greater Manchester-based street food legends who have adapted their services to provide takeaways and deliveries during lockdown.
The Ottomen (read our review here)
Oh Mei Dumpling
Ginger’s Comfort Emporium
Abeja Tapas Bar (pictured)
I Knead Pizza
Howard and Ruth Outstanding Achievement Award
Recognising someone who has contributed something outstanding to the food and drink industry in Greater Manchester.
Lockdown Heroes Sponsored by Manchester Evening News
This award recognises those individuals and businesses who have provided continued support for the wider community, the food and drink industry and Greater Manchester as a whole during the COVID-19 Crisis.
This has been opened up for public nominations. Let them know about your local ‘lockdown’ hero' at www.foodanddrinkfestival.com. It can be anyone you think deserves recognition.
The closing date for votes is midnight on the 26th September and the winners will then be announced at the virtual awards ceremony on 5th October.