The 20th anniversary line-up includes pop-up restaurants, celebrity chefs and a food rave
Organisers of Manchester Food and Drink Festival (MFDF) - September 29 to October 9 - have revealed that there will be over 100 different food and drink events happening across Greater Manchester this year.
The popular urban celebration of food, which began in 1997, has grown steadily over the decades and this year’s festival will involve a whopping 252 partners; including chefs, brewers, authors, street food traders, wine merchants, restaurants, cafes, art galleries and forgotten railway stations.
Amongst the well-known faces heading to Manchester this autumn are food blogging sensation ‘Deliciously Ella’ Mills, Randall & Aubin chef/founder and former TV chef Ed Baines, and Wahaca founder Thomasina Miers, who will be joining celebrated local chefs such as Aiden Byrne from Manchester House and Nisha Katona from Mowgli for cookery demonstrations and booking signings in the festival hub.
As ever, the Festival Hub on Albert Square, will host a free-to-enter pop-up food village, open every day from midday to 11pm. As official online takeaway partner for MFDF 2017, Just Eat have selected some of their highest rated restaurants including The Pasta Project, Oishi Q, Strip Health, Italian Express, Kings Treats and Naasouk who will be cooking at their own pop-up Just Eat kitchen.
As well as a wide range of street food stalls, the hub will also feature an indie beer festival, Fever Tree ‘Gin Garden and Dark Spirits Den’, wine bars, chef master classes and pop up restaurants in the MFDF Live Cookery Theatre.
There will also be a programme of performances on the Live Music Stage across eleven jam-packed days including sets from Boltonian X Factor sensation Christian Burrows, hotly tipped singer-songwriter Ben Williams, new indie heroes Corella, Lily Jo, Dave Fidler, ‘The Chanteuse’ aka Lucy Hope - performing her new, French-language album, Sings Modiano.
New for this year will be two hub cocktail bars; Be At One will serve up a range of classic cocktails (28th September – 3rd October), followed by ‘Cocktails and Carbs’ hosted by Laundrette (4th -8th October), with delicious cocktails pimped up with candy floss, toasted marshmallows, bath tubs and ice cream.
This year’s huge all-weather Festival Beer Bar (also in the hub) represents a non-stop, indie extravaganza of over twenty different brews including Brightside, Wildside, Ticketybrew, Black Jack, Runaway, Seven Brothers and the Manchester Brewing Co.
As well as the happenings in the hub, there will be banquets in forgotten railway arches; glamorous fine dining extravaganzas; wine festivals; cocktail safaris; gin trails; food entrepreneur workshops; rustic basque banquets; ‘Manchester tart-offs’; craft beer tastings; cakes; ‘octogenarian cookery’ and mushroom foraging – all of which will culminate in the MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards at The Principal Manchester.
This year’s Big Indie Wine Fest will take place in the newly refurbished Grade II listed Manchester Hall on 6th - 7th October. With an extra special bonanza of independent wine merchants bringing the highest quality exclusive wine, this event is one not to be missed. Serving new wines from Croatia to independent French wines the event will also host a session of masterclasses including a wine tasting by the BBC’s Kate Goodman.
Some of the MFDF events (including pop-up restaurants by Ella Mills, Simon Shaw and Sugo Pasta, Matthew Nutter’s Vegan Banquet and Hawksmoor’s Feast of the Beast) have sold out already, but there are plenty more fantastic food events to get involved with.
Phil Jones, Festival founding director said, “This is without doubt our biggest and best Festival programme yet – with something fantastic happening every day. Events are selling out fast, so I advise foodies to pick up a brochure or get on the festival website and grab a place ASAP.
"We’d like to say a big thank you to all the brilliant chefs, partners and restaurants who have come together to make this such a special celebration of Manchester’s food culture. Happy birthday MFDF and we’ll see you at the Festival Hub."
During the eleven day festival, Manchester’s abandoned railway station, Mayfield Depot, will be the location for a series of special one-off MFDF 20th birthday feasts. Breathing new life into this forgotten space, Mayfield will be transformed into an extraordinary dining room and party space, creating a unique opportunity to eat, drink and party in a historic Manchester giant of a landmark. These include:
Friday 29th September:
Tampopo, the independent pan-Asian restaurant, will also be celebrating its 20th birthday, so are celebrating with MFDF by hosting a big joint gastro party with DJ sets from Graeme Park, music from Rowetta and oodles of Tampopo food and drink.
Thursday 5th October:
‘Hispi Meets The Unabombers’ in a banquet-come-food party collaboration between chef Gary Usher and DJs-turned-restaurateurs Justin Crawford and Luke Cowdrey. This event will bring together two of the hottest food brands in the north – The Refuge and Hispi. Tickets include food, entertainment and welcome drinks.
Saturday 7th October:
Thomasina Miers: Day of the Dead - This Mexican restaurant entrepreneur and Masterchef winner, will be creating a very special Mexican banquet every bit as fantastical as the venue in which it’s taking place.
Across the city, some of Manchester’s best restaurants will be hosting their own special MFDF events:
Randall & Aubin will be hosting a one-off Champagne and Oyster Tasting in conjunction with HallgartenDruitt & Novum wines.
Baratxuri in Ramsbottom will be cooking whole fish and big cuts of meat roasted and chargrilled in the pintxos masters’ new Pereruela wood-fired oven. All Asado (roasted) dishes are cut and served at the table with sides and rescoldo veg cooked in the embers of the fire. Tickets are available via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Iberica will host a hands-on Spanish experience, with make your own G&T, a live demo from master carver Sergio Escudero all about Jamón Ibérico plus bespoke tapas, Paella Valenciana and dessert from head chef Nacho Llinares and boutique Spanish wines.
The Koffee Pot will be the venue for Goatoaber where Darren Goodwin (Grafene), Mary-Ellen McTague (Manchester Art Gallery Café), Richard Sharples (Hispi) and James Whetlor (Cabrito Goat Meat) are cooking a four-course menu using kid goat meat or dairy in every dish. Part of an entire month nationwide devoted to celebrating dishes made from male Billy goats, which are usually discarded at birth as a waste product of the dairy industry.
To see the full line-up, download the full brochure here or see below.
THE FESTIVAL HUB
Albert Square - 28 September - 8 October - FREE
The Festival Hub will remain at its traditional home on Albert Square, and will be a ‘better than ever’ bespoke, pop-up food village, open from 12noon – 11pm daily. As ever the Hub is free and fantastic, with a whole new design, layout and some exciting additions too. In situ throughout the Festival will be the city’s best mix of street food traders (from Manchester and beyond), Vin Van Voom Wine bar, the live music stage, the MFDF Live Cookery Theatre, an indie beer festival, a gin garden, wine tastings, pop up restaurants, masterclasses, workshops and more. There’s even 2 Hub Cocktail Bars this year.
Cocktail Institution, Be At One, will be serving up a range of their classic cocktails from 28th September-3rd October including Porn Star Martinis, Mojitos and their specialty ‘Candy Pants’
Cocktails and Carbs hosted by Laundrette from 4th-8th October will be serving an array of their delicious cocktails accompanied by candy floss, toasted marshmallows, bath tubs and ice cream.
MFDF @ MAYFIELD
Mayfield Depot - 29 September - 7 October - Ticketed Manchester’s abandoned railway station, and one of the city’s most jaw-dropping spaces, is the location for MFDF’s 20th birthday feasts. Breathing new life into this forgotten space, Mayfield will be transformed for the Festival into an extraordinary dining room and party space. A unique, one-off chance to eat, drink and party in an awe-inspiring, historic, giant of a Manchester landmark.
Friday 29 September – MFDF & Tampopo 20th Birthday Party Authentic, independent Pan Asian restaurant, Tampopo, is 20 this year too. These two iconic Manchester food brands will be celebrating their joint birthday together the only way that both know how…with one great big gastro birthday party in a magnificent location. With DJ sets from Graeme Park, music from Happy Mondays’ Rowetta and lots of fabulous Tampopo food and drink - expect a hedonistic mix of full moon party fun and Manchester icons. http://manchesterfoodanddrinkf... Tickets include food, entertainment and welcome drinks.
Thursday 5 October – Hispi Meets The Unabombers. A collaboration between food and drink innovator, Gary Usher, and club alchemists-turned-restauranteurs The Unabombers, this huge banquet-come-food party will bring together 2 of the hottest food brands in the north – The Refuge and Hispi – along with club pioneers The Unabombers as they DJ throughout. A completely unique food experience awaits.
Saturday 7 October - Thomasina Miers: Day of the Dead Forget the infamous "Spectre" opening scene, Thomasina Miers, the red hot Mexican food entrepreneur, brings a new gastro take on the infamous ‘Day of the Dead’ with a Mexican banquet every bit as fantastical as the venue in which it’s taking place. http://manchesterfoodanddrinkf...
MFDF INDIE BEER FEST
Festival Hub - 28 September - 8 October - Noon-11pm - Free
This year’s Festival Beer Bar represents a non-stop, indie extravaganza of beautiful brews making this the ultimate 20th birthday beer fest. All on tap, all the way through MFDF, and all making up the Festival centrepiece – the Festival’s huge beer bar at the Hub.
What better way to toast the 20th anniversary of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival than by inviting 20 breweries from our world famous scene to contribute their finest beers to the party?
Leading the way will be Brightside, Wildside, Ticketybrew, Black Jack, Runaway, Seven Brothers and the Manchester Brewing Co.
Alongside our local brews are the official beers of MFDF 2017, on tap throughout the festival. Shedhead, a 4.6% ABV American-style pale ale brewed in Sweden, and Brooklyn and Poretti lagers, from America and Italy respectively.
All of this housed under one, gigantic, all weather pop up beer hall complete with long tables, sofas, live music stage and room for dancing!
All this making up one exceptional, double decade celebration of beer.
LIVE COOKERY THEATRE
Festival Hub - Various Dates/Times Free
- Nisha Katona: Cookery Demo & Book Signing: Festival Hub: 7th October, 12:30pm Owner of Mowgli restaurants, TV personality and Food Writer, Nisha Katona will be sharing her skills at her first MFDF cookery demo, and will be signing copies of her new book ‘The Spice Tree’.
- Thomasina Miers: Cookery Demo & Book Signing: Festival Hub: 7th October 2pm. Ex-Masterchef winner, and Mexican food expert, Thomasina, comes to the MFDF. Prolific author and Guardian columnist, she is demonstrating recipes from her latest book “Home Cook by Thomasina Miers” and signing copies afterwards.
- Aiden Bryne : Cookery Demo – Festival Hub: 7th October, 3:30pm A prodigious talent, Aiden is renowned in the City for opening the fine dining Manchester House with Living Ventures which sent his profile soaring. It immediately scooped an unprecedented hat-trick of triumphs at the 2014 Manchester Food and Drink Awards – Best Restaurant, Best Bar and Best Newcomer – and now holds a coveted four AA Rosettes.
- Kwoklyn Wan: Cookery Demo & Book Signing: Festival Hub: 7th October, 5pm Brother of stylist and foodie, Gok Wan, Kwoklyn will be coming to Manchester to demonstrate recipes from his new cookery book Chinese Soul Food and signing copies afterwards.
- Ed Baines: Cookery Demo and Q&A: Festival Hub: 29th September, 1pm. Chef/founder of Randall & Aubin, Ed Baines, is best known for his role as a judge on ITV’s hugely successful Britain’s Best Dish. He is hosting his own masterclass and Q&A session at the Hub, sharing some of the secrets of his legendary Soho brasserie, an offshoot of which has transferred to Manchester this year.
- Ella Mills: Q and A/Book Signing: Festival Hub: 30th September, 4pm. Award-winning cookery author and entrepreneur Ella Mills will be at the Festival Hub for a Q&A, sharing some of the secrets of her phenomenal success story and signing copies of her book Deliciously Ella With Friends.
Fever Tree Gin Garden and The Dark Spirit Den Festival Hub
28 September - 8 October - Noon – 11pm - Free
An array of extraordinary gins will be on the menu via the free to enter Fever Tree Gin Garden and Dark Spirits Den.
As ever, festival goers will be able to create their very own bespoke, ‘ultimate’ gin and tonic with a host of gins available, all chosen to perfectly pair with the Fever Tree range of mixers. This year that will include the biggest collection yet, including Premium Tonic, Naturally Light Tonic, Mediterranean Tonic, Elderflower Tonic, Aromatic Tonic and Lemon Tonic. The liquor loving won’t stop there… The Dark Spirits Den is a brand-new addition to the Festival. It will be the ultimate festival hangout with visitors able to sample their favourite dark spirits, as well as gin, with the most appropriate Fever Tree mixer. There’ll be live entertainment from local musicians and songwriters from across Manchester and undercover seating all in a specially created space inspired by the contrasts of light and dark. An exciting venue that’s sure to be the place for gorgeous and refreshing drinks by daylight, rainy day cocktails, as well as after dark fun...
Each of Fever Tree’s premium natural mixers have been carefully crafted to complement the varied flavour profiles of gin and dark spirits and there will be a wide range of premium and artisan spirits available to sample with the mixers. The dark spirit mixers that will be available include Fever Tree Madagascan Cola, Ginger Ale, Ginger Beer and Sicilian lemonade.
For a more immersive drinking experience, join Fever-Tree on their Spirit Safari, which will showcase some of the best drinking spots in the city.
MFDF BIG INDIE WINE FEST Manchester Hall
Manchester Hall - 6 & 7 October - Ticketed
One of Manchester’s most well known buildings, located at the gateway to Spinningfields, Manchester Hall is a Grade II listed building that has been transformed into a stunning and unique space. It will be hosting this year’s ‘ Big Indie Wine Fest’ which returns as one of the most popular events at MFDF. With an extra special bonanza of independent wine merchants bringing the highest quality exclusive wine, this event is one not to be missed. Serving new wines from Croatia to independent French wines the event will also host a session of masterclasses including a wine tasting masterclass by the BBC’s Kate Goodman. http://manchesterfoodanddrinkf...
Festival Hub - 1 October Noon – 6pm - FREE
Cup North, the people behind Manchester Coffee Festival will be popping up at the Hub to present a day of tasting, talking and learning. Inside the coffee tent there will be the opportunity to try and buy coffee from a range of local roasters including Heart & Graft, Ancoats Coffee Co. and Passionfruit. Visitors are invited to engage with a number of free talks and demos throughout the day, all aimed at bringing consumers closer to the world of professional coffee making.
CHEESE AND CIDEROLOGIST
Festival Hub - 4 October 6:30pm - Ticketed.
The city of Manchester has but one commercial cider maker and he cordially invites you to join him and his team for this MFDF special event. With an impressive back catalogue of previous Cheese & Cider nights, join founder of The Moss Cider Project and new found friend Gabe Cook AKA The Ciderologist (Channel 4's Sunday Brunch go-to cider guy) for an evening of pairings from near and far.
These dapper gents, one with the finest facial whiskers this side of Herefordshire, will guide you through 5 courses of cheese and cider's weird and wonderful customs from around the globe and some a little closer to home. "Wassail!" as Gabe would say. http://themossciderproject.org...
WINE VS BEER
Festival Hub - 6 October 7pm - Ticketed
BBC star and founder of Reserve wines, Kate Goodman meets Cloudwater Beer extraordinaire, Paul Jones. One of the key figures behind Manchester’s micro beer boom, Paul will be teaming up with Kate for the first time to host a fascinating evening exploring the cultural and gastronomic differences between wine and beer alongside the best food pairings for each. http://manchesterfoodanddrinkf...
MANCHESTER TART OFF & FOREVER MANCHESTER BAKE SALE
Festival Hub - Sunday 8 October Noon – 6pm - Free
In celebration of 20 years of MFDF, the Festival are resurrecting a competition that was staged in year 1… The search to find the best Manchester Tart in Manchester. The people of Greater Manchester will be asked to put their heart into the tart and enter their homemade creations so that the ultimate Tart of Manchester can be crowned! To enter, budding bakers and trainee tarts should email George@foodanddrinkfestival.com
On the judging day join us for the annual Forever Manchester Caketober Charity Bake Sale, all proceeds supporting community activity across Greater Manchester. If you would like to bake and donate your wares for the sale contact
JUST EAT AT MFDF JUST EAT STUDENT SUPPER CLUB
Festival Hub - Monday 2 October - Ticketed
Just Eat are offering 40 lucky students a chance to join them at The Hub at Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2017 on Monday 2nd October. The evening will start with a drinks reception, followed by a complimentary 3 course dining experience with Didsbury’s finest Indian restaurant, Indique, as well as live entertainment.
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning tickets for you and three friends for this fabulous event is emailfrom an accredited college or university email address with your name, age, telephone number and the name of the Indian Restaurant providing the food for the evening.
JUST EAT STREET KITCHEN AT THE HUB
Festival Hub - 28 September – 8 October - Free
As official Online Takeaway Partner for MFDF 2017, Just Eatis proud to offer the hungry citizens of Manchester more than 700 Just Eat restaurant partners to choose from, and what better opportunity to showcase them than by bringing them to the Festival Hub in Albert Square?
So, with the help of their customers, they’ve selected some of their highest rated restaurants to serve up quality food for all budgets, tastes and appetites.
Just Eat welcome The Pasta Project, Oishi Q, Strip Health, Italian Express, Kings Treats and Naasouk to the Festival Hub, throughout MFDF, at their own pop up Just Eat kitchen.
BOOKATABLE FESTIVAL FEAST Across the city
Citywide - 28 September - 9 October - Book Online
As the exclusive booking partner of Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2017, Bookatable helps foodies to discover and book the city’s best restaurants.
This partnership celebration of dining out takes place across Manchester’s favourite restaurants - you’ll find festival menus at your chosen high street spots, as well as the city’s most luxurious fine dining establishments. Whether you’re a seasoned Manchester foodie looking to return to your favourite restaurant, or a dining-out newbie on the hunt for an amazing-value experience, there’s special MFDF/Booktable menus out there for everyone. Explore the menus here; www.bookatable.co.uk/
MFDF GALA DINNER AND AWARDS
The Principal - 9 October - Ticketed
The Manchester Food and Drink Festival Gala Dinner and Awards will be taking place on the 9th October and will be returning to the beautiful and iconic Principal Manchester. The most prestigious food awards in the North will be distributed and this year there’ll be 20 awards for 20 years http://manchesterfoodanddrinkf...
CITY LIFE MUSIC STAGE
Festival Hub - 28 September - 8 October - Noon-11pm - Free
If you thought the Manchester Food and Drink Festival was just about eating and drinking, think again. As ever, MFDF sets itself apart from the rest with its programme of fantastic live music all the way through the event. Across the 11 days of the Hub, you will be able to tune in, dance or just chill-out, to an eclectic mix of amazing artists.
Names to whet the appetite include:
- Christian Burrows - Boltonian X Factor sensation whose debut single Two Again was a big hit
- Ben Williams - Manchester’s hotly tipped singer-songwriter
- Corella - new indie heroes
- Lily Jo - pop soul singer-songwriter
- Dave Fidler – local singer-songwriter legen.
- ‘The Chanteuse’ aka Manchester’s finest vocalist and MFDF stalwart Lucy Hope - performing a live world premiere, her new, french-language album, Sings Modiano. A chanson extraordinaire, the album is superb listening. It’s being released in both the UK and France. www.thechanteuse.co.uk
- Scruff of the Neck - The North’s coolest promoters present a fascinating night of stunning music, featuring the powerful hooks of Cosmo Calling, the energetic Opera Comic, soul sensations Deliah and groove laden Maisie Johnson.
- Joel Valentine & Katy Alex – Merseyside singer-songwriter with great pop hooks.
- Whitley Ruchea – a unique urban DJ from the Midlands.
- Audio Beats/Whoever and the Somethings - The Northwest’s best covers dance bands. Expect Stevie Wonder to Fleetwood Mac, Chaka Khan and The Roses with some help from some top DJs too.
- Full programme available at the Festival website.
MAD COCKTAIL WEEK
Hula, Rosylee, The Fitzgerald, Walrus and Tusk - 28 September- 8 October - From Noon - Ticketed & Free.
Shaking things up with a celebration of all things cocktail, MAD Ltd will be hosting a series of pop-up events, bespoke serves and exclusive discounts across their five Northern Quarter bars; Hula, Rosylee, The Fitzgerald, Walrus and Tusk. Full details on the MFDF website.
CHAMPAGNE AND OYSTER TASTING @ RANDALL AND AUBIN
Randall and Aubin - 28 September - From 7pm - Ticketed
Learn more about the decadent world of Champagne. Let Manchester’s newest French brasserie, in conjunction with HallgartenDruitt & Novum wines, enlighten you at an exclusive evening of bubbly and bivalves. Book early to secure a place as spaces are limited. http://manchesterfoodanddrinkf...
TAKE A JOURNEY THROUGH SPAIN WITH IBERICA
4 October - From 6pm - Ticketed
In a revelatory hands-on Spanish experience, kick off with a chance to mix your own G&T and, of course drink it before learning from head master carver Sergio Escudero all about Jamón Ibérico through a live carving demo while enjoying this delicacy with a glass of bone-dry Manzanilla. After these two welcoming treats enjoy head chef Nacho Llinares’ bespoke menu including tapas and a dessert to share, with Paella Valenciana as a main course. Valencian style is dry, with crunchy, caramelised socarrat – the team will show you how to scrape it from the pan bottom to unleash incredible flavours. To match these dishes– two special glasses of boutique Spanish wines.
GOATOBER – KOFFEE POT
The Koffee Pot - 8 October - Ticketed
Darren Goodwin (Grafene), Mary-Ellen McTague (Manchester Art Gallery Café), Richard Sharples (Hispi) and James Whetlor (Cabrito Goat Meat) are cooking a four-course menu using kid goat meat or dairy in every dish. It’s part of an entire month nationwide devoted to celebrating dishes made from male billy goats, which are usually discarded at birth as a waste product of the dairy industry. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e...
THE MUSIC QUIZ AND MANCHESTER CHALLENGE
Festival Hub - 8 October - Free - reservation of place online required
Guide and author, Jonathan Schofield, offers 40 questions and challenges on Manchester, Greater Manchester and their people, places and events. Includes a Musical Challenge, sung intros round by Lucy Hope. Fabulous prizes plus the chance to buy the new extended guide to Manchester by Jonathan and other Manchester Books Ltd publications. Short break in the middle with live music from Lucy! http://manchesterfoodanddrinkf...
Baratxuri Y Comedor, Ramsbottom - 3 October - Ticketed
Whole fish and big cuts of meat roasted and chargrilled in the pintxos masters’ new Pereruela wood-fired oven. All Asado (roasted) dishes are cut and served at the table with sides and rescoldo veg cooked in the embers of the fire. Tickets from the bar or email email@example.com