12 virtual awards were dished out this year, but who won what?
It’s been a tricky year, but the hospitality sector has come up trumps in so many ways and deserved to be recognised and rewarded. There wasn’t the usual MFDF Gala Dinner at Gorton Monastery this year, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, but instead, the winners of the 23rd Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards have been revealed at a virtual award ceremony at MODA Living Apartments in Manchester.
There’s been huge amounts of innovation and creativity – even during such a tough time, we’ve much to celebrate
The Awards were presented in partnership with Festival headline sponsors, food delivery platform Just Eat and celebrated the innovation, resilience, altruism and successes that have taken place over the past year, especially in response to the vast challenges that the sector has faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, MFDF organisers and the judging panel decided to create new categories 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.
The shortlists were compiled by the MFDF judging panel, made up of the region's leading food and drink critics, writers and experts. There was no mystery shopping by the judges this year, instead voting was carried out entirely by the public via the MFDF website and the brand new MFDF app.
As the awards ceremony was live streamed, all the nominees were invited to watch and wait in a ‘virtual green room’ while their categories were announced. The Festival was then able to go live to the winners, after they had been announced by a series of special guest hosts including Noddy Holder, Rhian Sugden, Clint Boon, John Thomson, Victoria Ekanoye, and Sair Khan who ‘zoomed in’ to the event.
The Manchester Food and Drink Festival main event, the Festival Hub, had to be postponed due to the evolving COVID-19 situation in Greater Manchester, after advice from the city’s public health teams. MFDF made the difficult decision a few days before the event was due to start. The event has been rescheduled for 1st - 11th April 2021.
Phil Jones, The Manchester Food and Drink Festival Founding Director, said: “We’re very pleased to be able to recognise our brilliant hospitality sector during this extraordinarily difficult time. MFDF is proud to celebrate such a wonderful range of businesses and individuals, all showcasing the strong stuff that our local industry is made of. There’s been huge amounts of innovation and creativity – even during such a tough time, we’ve much to celebrate. Congratulations to all the winners, and nominees – the Festival will continue to support the industry however it can over the coming months… roll on April 2021”.
Award categories and nominations…
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 – 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 WINNER: CORK OF THE NORTH
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
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
THE WINNER: RUDY'S PIZZA
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
THE WINNER: NORTHERN SOUL - GRILL IT YOURSELF KIT
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
THE WINNER: SHINDIGGER BREWING COMPANY
BEST INNOVATION SPONSORED BY HUN WINE
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
THE WINNER: STRETFORD FOODHALL
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
Higher Ground https://www.highergroundmcr.co (Currently in the kitchens at Ducie Street Warehouse)
Perfect Match 103 Cross Street, Sale M33 7JN
Street Urchin 72 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester M4 5BG
Stretford Food Hall Chester Road, Stretford, Manchester M32 9BD
THE WINNER: ESCAPE TO FREIGHT ISLAND
BEST ONLINE VEGGIE/VEGAN OFFERING SPONSORED BY MEATLESS FARM
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.
The Walled Gardens by Eddie Shepherd (read our review)
The Ottomen (read our review)
THE WINNER: WHOLESOME JUNKIES
ARTISAN DRINKS PRODUCER OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY FRANKLIN & SONS
This award recognises the plethora of fabulous local drinks produce, from gins and ciders to ales and meads, produced in Greater Manchester.
THE WINNER: SHINDIGGER BREWING COMPANY
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
Grindsmith 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
THE WINNER: ANCOATS GENERAL STORE
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)
THE WINNER: OH MEI DUMPLING
Lockdown Heroes Sponsored by Manchester Evening News
Recognising 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.
THE WINNER - EAT WELL MCR
Also read - Eat Well MCR launches an online Marketplace
Howard and Ruth Outstanding Achievement Award
Recognising someone who has contributed something outstanding to the food and drink industry in Greater Manchester.