The city's biggest food and drink celebration returns from the 27th Sept to 8th Oct

IT’s nearly time for Manchester’s annual citywide food and drink festival (27th September to 8th October) and this time around organisers are celebrating their 21st year across a packed twelve day programme of food and drink events. 

There’ll be happenings all over Greater Manchester featuring collaborations with many of the city’s most talented food and drinkies including chefs, brewers, ice cream makers, gin distillers and foragers. 

The Festival Hub on Albert Square will have a brand new look for 2018. Visitors can expect a newly designed site with structures hosting two Saturdays of cookery demonstrations, live experiences and skills workshops from a number of local culinary stars and big names. 

​The city’s biggest food party will culminate in the MFDF Gala Dinner

The centrepiece of the hub will be the Dining Dome – a spherical 'foodie palace', which will host nine specially curated one-off banquets, supper clubs and food parties ‘under the stars’ of Manchester.

There will also be a programme of live music across the eleven days of the Hub, featuring an eclectic mix of amazing artists on stage to help create the perfect atmosphere for guests to tune in, dance or just chill-out to.

The city’s biggest food party will culminate in the MFDF Gala Dinner on 8th October at Gorton Monastery, where this year’s award winners will be revealed.

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The Festival Hub

Albert Square - 27 Sept-7 Oct, noon-11pm

The beating heart of the festival is transformed this year with the addition of the Dining Dome – a spherical 'foodie palace' that’s the location for a host of specially curated banquets, supper clubs and events. Dozens of street food traders will also be on site, plus some of the most exciting restaurant brands in the city. There'll be a newly designed Festival Bar space featuring some of Manchester’s breweries; a host of new drinking 'activations' – from beer buses to gin containers; and a live music stage.

Saturday Skills - FREE

Dining Dome - 29 Sept & 6 Oct

The Dining Dome at the Hub will be the location for two Saturdays of live cookery demonstrations and masterclasses as MFDF presents two days devoted to learning from the best and brightest culinary stars in the country. 

Saturday 29th

Joudie Kalla: 1pm 

Leith's School of Food and Wine trained Joudie Kalla has been a chef for over 16 years at restaurants such as Gordon Ramsay's Pengelley's, Daphne's and Papillon and latterly an acclaimed supper club host. She will be signing copies of her new book, Baladi, which roughly translates from Arabic as 'My Country'. The book takes the reader on a journey through Palestinian food and culture. The recipes are veggie and vegan friendly but cater to every palate - influenced by the diversity of food from the fields, markets, orchards and sea.

Joudie Kalla
Joudie Kalla will be appearing in the dining dome

Simon Wood: 2.15pm 

Over the past year, WOOD Manchester, the eponymous First Street restaurant of 2015 Masterchef winner Simon, has made quite a stir, culminating in it making the shortlist for Best Newcomer in the 2018 Manchester Food and Drink Awards. His debut cookbook At Home with Simon Wood - Fine Dining Made Simple is out now and Simon will be demoing recipes from this and his restaurant. 

Jack Monroe: 3.30pm 

Jack Monroe was awarded the 2013 Fortnum and Mason Judges' Choice Award for the impact her blog, A Girl Called Jack, has made. She is now a well-known campaigner against hunger and poverty in the UK. She is author of bestselling cookbooks A Girl Called Jack and A Year in 120 Recipes. Her budget-conscious, vegan-led recipes are instantly available on her website and in her new book Cooking on A Bootstrap. She will demonstrating recipes from the book and will be signing copies too.

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Simon Wood will be demonstrating recipes from his debut cookbook 'At Home with Simon Wood - Fine Dining Made Simple'

6th October

Woodall’s Charcuterie Masterclass with Dave Critchley: 1pm

Enjoy a real treat from the North West as Living Ventures senior operations chef Dave Critchley joins forces with Colin Woodall of award-winning Woodall’s Charcuterie to demonstrate the delicious versatility of their range. 

Fermenting Masterclass with Julia Goddard and Emma Thackray: 2pm

Fancy making your own Kimichi, sauerkraut or kombucha? Julia Goddard from Altrincham Market’s Plucky Pickle and Emma Thackray from Booch and Brine will show you how. 

An introduction to Tuna with Omar Rodriguez: 3pm

Chef Omar Rodriguez of Umezushi will be sharing his experience and knowledge about one of the most sought-after sushi ingredients. 

Make Fresh Curds and Bread with Mary-Ellen McTague and Chris Cahill of The Creameries: 4pm

Chef Mary-Ellen McTague of new Chorlton venue The Creameries (formerly of Aumbry) shows how easy it is to make your own curds at home, whilst Creameries head baker, Chris Cahill, demonstrates the art of creating bread from scratch. 

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Chef Mary-Ellen McTague will be polishing her curds

Dining Dome Banquets

A spherical 'foodie palace', the Dining Dome will be the location for a feast of specially curated banquets, supper clubs and food parties

‘Battle Royale’ Secret Supper Club from Cottonopolis - Thurs 27th Sept & Fri 28th Sept (£65)

This two night MFDF supper club will be Cottonopolis’ most ambitious yet with the Dining Dome transformed by their visual architects into a specially curated dining production of Battle Royale. Based around the Japanese cult film, it’s billed as '80 contestants, six courses, one survivor’. Expect head chef Joe Grant’s food to be equally spectacular. Tickets include a glass of prosecco on arrival followed by six courses. 

Jasmine HemsleyTrove Supper Club - 29th Sept (£50)

Well-being and lifestyle guru, insta-influencer extraordinaire, founder of Hemsley + Hemsley and author of East by West, Jasmine Hemsley, is coming to Manchester Food and Drink Festival for a special collaboration with MFDF and the award-winning artisan bakery Trove.

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Trove will team up with wellbeing guru Jasmine Hemsley

Family Food Fest - Sun 30th Sept (Free)

Join MFDF, DJ Clint Boon and friends, as the Dining Dome and the whole Festival Hub goes extra family friendly for a Sunday Fun-Day. The Dining Dome will be given over to foodie fun for mini masterchefs – from pizza making to arts, crafts and entertainment – whilst the whole site will be even more family centred than ever. A chilled-out family friendly disco courtesy of Clint Boon will take over the bar marquee with other child friendly activities scattered across the site.

The Rabbit & Seven Bro7hers: Fine Dining and Beer - 1st Oct (£55)

The Rabbit head chef John Granaghan has joined forces with Seven Bro7hers Brewery to bring his innovative fine dining experience to the MFDF dome. The evening will be a unique opportunity to experience an exclusive pairing menu curated especially for the night – The Rabbit’s intense flavours, combined with Seven Bro7hers Brewery’s expertly brewed hops. 

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The Rabbit will team up with Seven Bro7hers

Caviar & Champagne Tasting with Randall & Aubin - 2nd Oct (£25)

Bridge Street’s fabulous Randall and Aubin team up with The Gourmet Caviar House to present a rare gastro opportunity. Guests will be given a glass of Randall & Aubin’s house Champagne and then will have an opportunity to sample a range of the most exquisite caviars around.

‘A Trip to Brazil’ with Fazenda’s Francisco Martinez - 3rd October (£50)

Fazenda’s Executive Chef, Francisco Martinez - former chef at the five-time winner of Best Restaurant in the World, El Bulli – has designed a one-off menu exclusively for the Manchester Food and Drink Festival. It includes an avant-garde eight course dining experience that showcases Brazilian food at its best paired with four wines from Brazilian producer Miolo. 

Hatch Pop-Up Supper Club - 4th October (£45)

Hatch, the new pop-up food, drink and retail destination on Oxford Road and a selection of its fantastic street food traders past and present will be taking over the Dining Dome for the evening and staging a special Hatch Supper Club. The menu will include courses by indie icons Well Hung, Firebird Hope, Wok’s Cluckin and T’arricrii. Each course will be paired with beers from Öl – Hatch’s on site nano brewery or natural wines from Love and Labour.

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Firebird Hope have stormed onto the street food scene in 2018

Spanish Feast by LunyaBaratxuriEvuna and Porta - Fri 5th Oct (£55)

The city’s abundant Spanish restaurant scene is celebrated by this food fiesta as four of its finest collaborate to showcase the country’s regional cuisines – from Catalunya to Basque country and beyond.

Fiona Beckett: Six Wines That Shaped My Career - Sat 6th Oct (£25)

Fiona Beckett is an award-winning food and drink journalist, author and web publisher with over 25 year’s experience of writing for the UK's top newspapers and magazines. She is currently wine columnist for The Guardian and National Geographic Travel Food magazine and restaurant critic for Decanter, while publishing her own website which helps you find the perfect pairing for your favourite dishes.

‘Clean Plate’ - Vegan Beers and Bites with Brooklyn Brewery - Sun 7th Oct (£30)

Expect 'cult beers, fabulous street food and comedy'. New York’s Brooklyn Brewery will be dishing out pints, Bundobust and Wholesome Junkies will be dishing up food, whilst comedian Fat Roland will be entertaining the crowd. Tickets include 3 courses and a range of Brooklyn Beers. All proceeds will go to Festival Charity, Action Against Hunger.

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Lunya will be serve up a Spanish feast alongside Baratxuri​​, Evuna​​ and Porta

Also at the Hub...

Live music stage

There will be an eclectic mix of artists in the hub across the twelve days, kicking off with Mr Wilson's Second Liners on Thursday 27th September, and culminating on the evening of Sunday 7th October with I Am Kloot's John Bramwell playing a greatest hits set. 

Highlights include: Thursday 27th September: Mr Wilson’s Second Liners / Saturday 29th September: Covertones / Sunday 30th September: Clint Boon / Monday 1st October: XS Manchester takeover / Wednesday 3rd October: Albert Schloss / Friday 5th October: The Cassettes / Saturday 6th October: Whoever & The Somethings / Sunday 7th October: I Am Kloot's John Bramwell and special guest Dave Fidler.

Festival Bars - open between noon-11pm daily throughout...

Double Dutch G&T bar - Created by Dutch twin sisters Joyce and Raissa de Haas, Double Dutch’s range of innovative products are developed using flavour pairing techniques to create uniquely-balanced drinks. They use only natural ingredients blended with the highest quality water from the North of England to create crisp and fresh mixers for refined palates.

Manchester Brew Fest - Celebrating the region’s beer boom, The Hub offers a range of ales from the furthest flung corners of Greater Manchester and beyond. Check out Brightside brewery, Hophurst, Irwell Works, Seven Bro7hers and Manchester Brewing Company alongside many more.

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Manchester Brew Fest

MFDF Cider Fest - The Festival’s own little cider haven, the MFDF Cider Bar will be pitching up again to bring refreshing ciders to the proceedings. There’ll also be a range of delicious flavoured ciders including lemon and lime, mango and apple and pear. 

The Brooklyn Brewery Bus - Brooklyn Brewery will be bringing a brand new double decker bar bus to the Hub serving up a range of brews from their Perennials and Seasonal ranges – the perfect seasonal accompaniment to MFDF’s Autumn celebration.

Vin Van Voom Wine Bar - Vin Van Voom's 50s style silver van has long been a Festival Hub magnet for wine lovers. Now there's a reclaimed bar and new under covering seating. Expect a few surprises among the wines on offer, too. Look out for a fantastic, changing selection of boutique wines from Catteratto to Chablis, Malbec to Montepulciano.

Street Food - Street food traders and restaurants appearing in Albert Square this year include: Bundobust, Beastro, Chaat Cart, Beefy Boys, The Ottomen, Knuckle Sandwich, Baratxuri,  Cottonopolis, Proove, Waffle Island, Tampopo and more...

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Proove will be serving up pizza in the Hub

Across Manchester...

Bookatable Festival Feasts - 27th Sept-8th Oct (ticketed)

This 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. Participating restaurants include: Adam Reid at The French, Manchester House, James Martin and Hawksmoor - more here.

Asha’s Goes Vegan Asha’s - Thursday 27th Sept, 7pm (£35)

Chef Ashwani and Asha’s executive chef Bobby Geetha have created a unique vegan menu for the Festival. Five courses featuring the freshest, natural flavours, each paired with Seedlip’s alcohol-free cocktails.

The Jay Rayner Quartet - Albert’s SchlossFriday 28th Sept, 6pm  

As well as being an award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster, Jay is now a successful recording artist and performer entertaining audiences up and down the land (including at the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s club) with his band. Jay’s quartet will be performing a repertoire from the great American song book with special attention paid to numbers about food and drink. A special Jay Rayner menu will also be served throughout.    

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The Jay Rayner Quartet will perform at Albert’s Schloss

MFDF Gin Festival at Upper Campfield Market - Upper Campfield Market - Friday 28th & Sat 29th Sept (ticketed)

The iconic former Victorian market hall plays host to this sophisticated celebration of Britain’s favourite spirit in collaboration with the Gin Lounge. Three days of sampling from dozens of enticing brands plus entry to gin masterclasses and workshops, hosted by master distillers. Gin brands participating include Bathtub Gin, Arbikie Gin, Brighton Gin, Boutique-y-Gin, Cotswolds Gin, Didsbury Gin, Kukoro Gin, Lakes Distillery, Manchester Gin and Tarsier Spirits

Extraordinary Experiences by The Loft, Quay Street - Fri 28th – Sun 30th Sept & Thurs 4th – Sun 7th Oct (ticketed) 

Immersive drink experiences designed to test your pallet, wine knowledge and cocktail making skills: craft your own whiskey with Chivas Regal, shake it up with a Kahlua Cocktail masterclass, or take part in the Campo wine blending experience.

Fungi Foray with Jesper Launder Fri 28th Sept - Redisher Woods (£12.50-£25),

This fun activity will be held in Redisher Woods, Holcombe Brook, BL8, a couple of miles north of Bury. En route learn about fungi’s poisonous, edible and medicinal qualities plus how to tell one apart from the other. The best edible species collected will be cooked up for sampling at the end of the forage 

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MFDF Gin Festival at Upper Campfield Market

Manchester Small Plates Safari - various venues - Sun 30th Sept-Thurs 4th Oct (£5 for a small plate and drink) 

Foodies are challenged to try out as many Manchester restaurants as they can during the Festival as dozens of the finest restaurants in the city offer up a signature small plate along with a beer, wine or spirit for just £5. Participating restaurants are Automatic Cafe, Harvey Nichols, HOME, Iberica, Tapeo, The Clarence, The Grill On The Alley, Opium Lounge, All Star Lanes, Platzki, Banyan, Cosy Club, Pho, Alston Bar & Beef, Almost Famous, Home Sweet Home, Luck Lust Liquor & Burn, Lunya, Grafene, Proove, and Beastro, Gino D’Acampo. 

Terrazas Wine Masterclass at Fazenda Fazenda - Tuesday 2nd Oct (£50) 

Harnessing their roots and fervour for fine wines, Fazenda present a taste of their Argentine homeland. Guests will embark on a journey of discovery of the rich terroirs in the Andean foothills and learn about the vineyard heritage in the heart of Mendoza while indulging in the full rodizio meat experience in the luxurious private dining room. There are only 14 places available and ticket price is inclusive of all wines and food.

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Grafene is taking part in Manchester's 'Small Plates Safari'

Tampopo’s Taste Tour of Thailand - Tampopo Albert Square,  Wed 3rd Oct

The city’s original indie explorers of East Asian cuisine showcase what makes Thai food such a popular option. Also at Tampopo Trafford Centre on Wed, Oct 3 and Tampopo Corn Exchange on Sun, Oct 7. 

Cheese Tasting - Lunya, Weds 3rd Oct (£30)

Join this Catalan inspired deli for a fabulously relaxed evening of all things cheese. 

Taste The Love Charity Pop-up Supper Club - Trove, Thurs 4th Oct (£30) 

Event caterers Taste the Love are teaming up with Action Against Hunger’s ‘Love Food Give Food’ campaign to host a charity popup supper club at Trove. By supporting “Love Food Give Food” you help to save the lives of malnourished children around the world and ensure their families have access to nutritious food.  

Action Against Hunger’s Moveable Feast - Various venues, Thurs 4th Oct (£80) 

Festival partner charity, Action Against Hunger and MFDF bring you the opportunity to access the exclusive private spaces of a range of amazing restaurants and the cuisine of their renowned chefs, all on one special evening of fine food in the name of a great cause. Venues visited are Sunset by Australasia, The French, Wood, Asha's and Grand Pacific. All money raised will go directly to support Action Against Hunger’s work ending child hunger in over 45 countries around the world

Taste the City – A Manchester Food Tour in support of Foodinate, Various venues, Thurs 4th Oct (£50)

Sample some of the best food and drink the Manchester has to offer. All proceeds from this walk go to the Foodinate charity. The tour starts in Northern Quarter, exact location revealed upon booking

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Action Against Hunger’s Moveable Feast will visit The French, as well as Wood, Asha's and Grand Pacific

The 11th Big Indie Wine Fest  - Manchester HallFri 5th Sat 6th & Sun 7th Oct (£15)

After a fabulous debut in Manchester Hall’s grand, Grade II listed surrounds last year, Festival favourite, the Big Indie Wine Fest will be returning to the venue for an extra special, bigger-than-ever event with an extra session added for a three-day extravaganza. As ever Manchester’s finest independent wine merchants along with some from further afield will create a heavenly wine experience.

Full Moon Party - East Street, Fri 5th Oct

This new grab and go sibling of Tampopo in the heart of the city is hosting an evening of 'sheer lunacy', inspired by the epic parties of Thailand. The ticket price includes a welcome drink and unlimited wings.

Catalan Wine and Cheese Tasting at Tast - Tast Catala Sun 7th Oct (£30)

A journey through Catalonia's most unique flavours. Tast Cuina Catalana by Chef Paco Pérez will be hosting a Wine and Cheese Tasting accompanied by Catalan Tomato Bread. Their Advanced Sommelier will lead you through a selection of three carefully curated Catalan wines paired with three wonderful Catalan cheeses and their traditional bread with tomato, a secret recipe developed by Executive Chef Paco Pérez in collaboration with Triticum, an artisan bakery from Barcelona.

MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards - Gorton Monastery 8th Oct (ticketed) 

The sparkling culmination of MFDF, the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Gala Dinner and Awards will be taking place for the very first time in the stunning and gothic surrounds of Gorton Monastery. 

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MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards

Tickets and info for all MFDF events can be found on the website.