Manchester Food and Drink Festival kicks off this weekend from its new hub at Cathedral Gardens.
Taking place this year from 26th September to 7th October, most of the action will centre around the hub with the return of chef-led events in the igloo dining dome, Camden Town brewery’s shipping container bar, and a live music stage.
Festival-goers can look forward to a cocktail garden, an English wine bar from Manchester-based specialists Montann, a cider bar and a dedicated beer serving craft beers from some of Manchester’s best independent breweries.
Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge will be making his MFDF debut, giving us a taste of things to come from his hotly anticipated Manchester restaurant at The Stock Exchange.
There’ll be pastry, pasta and chocolate-making workshops, a vegan kitchen takeover hosted by John Robb, Shaun Ryder and Bundobust, live cookery theatre appearances from top Manchester chefs, and a Best in Town Dinner in aid of Action Against Hunger featuring all six of the MFDF 2019 Chef of the Year nominees.
Read on discover all the supper clubs, street food traders and fringe events taking place over the next few weeks.
It’s not unusual for the MFDF supper clubs to sell out before the festival launch, and this year is no exception. If you were hoping to bag tickets to dine with Simon Shaw, Adam Reid or the Curry Collective with Bundobust, Dishoom, Lily’s and Sanskruti, you’re out of luck. But fear not, there’s still plenty going on.
An Evening with Bistrotheque Classique (Thursday 26th September 19.30 at The Dining Dome, M4 3BG : £45 plus booking fees)
Kicking off the festival tonight is one of Manchester’s most anticipated 2019 arrivals. Located in the new Cultureplex development, Bistrotheque has made its name in East London through great, uncomplicated food, drink and service delivered with good taste and a dollop of fun.
Enjoy a special three-course menu from chef director Blaine Duffy, arrival cocktail, wine pairing and digestif plus eclectic entertainment from pop playing pianist Xavior, sequin-clad satirical weirdos Bourgeois & Maurice and a game of pass the parcel.
Roots and Future – a tasting menu by Francisco Martinez (Tuesday 1st October 19:30 at The Dining Dome, M4 3BG Price: £50 plus booking fees)
Fazenda’s executive chef Fran Martinez returns following a sell-out extravaganza last year with an eight-course tasting menu celebrating the Argentinian and Brazilian cuisines that inspire the restaurant’s menus. All proceeds from the night will be donated to Action Against Hunger.
An Evening with Paco Perez and Tast (Thursday 3rd October 19:30 at The Dining Dome, M4 3BG : £45 plus booking fees)
Catalan cuisine experts Tast host a three-course dinner designed, cooked and served by head chef Miquel Villacrosa and Michelin-starred Spanish cooking giant Paco Perez, executive chef at Tast. He is flying in from Barcelona promising wonderful dishes inspired by the beautiful Catalan landscape.
An Evening of Rum Decadence with Diablesse (Saturday 5th October 18:30 at Festival Hub – Cathedral Gardens, M4 3BG : £20)
Explore the Manchester-made Diablesse rum portfolio at this special tasting evening. Enjoy a Caribbean golden blend of pure, aged rums from different islands around the Caribbean alongside the unique Clementine Spiced Caribbean Rum. Tickets include a bespoke cocktail on arrival and a full masterclass including cocktails to drink after.
Dine with Tom Kerridge at MFDF (Sunday 6th October 13:00 at The Hub, M4 3BG : £75 plus booking fees)
Acclaimed Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge will be producing a taste of things to come from his hotly anticipated Manchester restaurant at The Stock Exchange and will be making his MFDF Dining Dome debut with a spectacular festival finale event.
Street food traders
The wide range of street food is always one of our festival highlights. Over the course of the next two weeks, a host of Manchester traders will be popping up in the festival square dishing out tasty treats.
From 26th September to 1st October, you’ll be able to find freshly made Neapolitan wood-fired pizza from Doughology, fresh churros from Los Curros Amigos, traditional Cypriot food from Cyprus Kouzina, and fish and chips with an Indian twist from The English Indian.
Dim Sum Su will be there with her steamed buns, spring rolls and savoury dumplings, as will The Otto-men with their vegan-friendly Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.
And on top of this, there’s still vegan fried chicken, Angus steak burgers from The Humble Kitchen and gooey cookie dough treats to get stuck into. Oh, and don’t forget Tampopo.
Then from Wednesday 2nd to 6th October, foodies can look forward to gourmet bangers from the award-winning Grandad’s Sausages, more churros from Love is Churros and wood-fired Neapolitan pizza from Didsbury pizzeria Proove.
Baratxuri will be back with their signature Basque BBQ grilled whole fish and big meat cuts and Parmogeddon will be dishing up chicken parmos left, right and centre.
There’ll also be huge paellas from Senor Paella, authentic Mexican street food from local deli Backs, fresh crepes from Vive le Crepe, and high end chicken nuggets, tofu nuggets, gourmet wraps, smoked pork hash browns and handcut chips courtesy of Golden Nugget.
Beyond the main festival hub at Cathedral Gardens, there’ll be a host of goings-on around the city as Manchester’s food and drink venues get in on the action.
There’s plenty to get stuck into from taster-walks around foodie destinations Ancoats and the Northern Quarter to foodie film dinners at King Street Townhouse, steak night at Mamucium, dinner above the clouds at 20 Stories and cheese and gin tastings at Lunya.
British steakhouse giants Hawksmoor host an intimate ‘more than steak’ event in their private dining room and, for those who fancy something a bit different, there’ll even be a wild mushroom foraging expedition taking place in Bury.