As Manchester’s Food and Drink Festival prepares to celebrate its 15th year in the city, it has today launched its 2012 activity with a collection of Food stories from some of Manchester’s favourite citizens and ambassadors.

“I hate fish soup, but smiled as I ate it, explaining to my friends how important it is for them to say ‘pesce’ and not ‘pesca’”

The microsite features an initial 15 stories from a broad range of Manchester folk including Coronation Street’s Jennie McAlpine, San Carlo Group Restaurant’s MD Marcello Distefano, poet Mike Gary, DJ Mr Scruff, chef Andrew Nutter and more. 15 individuals have been chosen – one for each year of the Festival’s history.

Manchester people are now being asked to add to this compilation with their own stories which can be sent in for inclusion on the site.

Memories include grandma’s apple pie, the best curry whilst travelling, bagels with Morrissey and in Jennie McAlpine’s case a total fail when it came to ordering in Italian.

Jennie who stars in Coronation Street and is the co-owner of new Manchester restaurant ‘Annie’s’, opening Autumn 2012, provided the following story:

“At a canalside restaurant in Venice I decided to impress my friends with my grasp of the Italian language. Things were going well until I ordered a glass of peach tea. The waiter was soon back with my order – a bowl of fish soup! I hate fish soup, but smiled as I ate it, explaining to my friends how important it is for them to say ‘pesce’ and not ‘pesca’ if they want to avoid getting a disgusting glass of peach tea!” Jennie is pictured with San Carlo Group Restaurant’s MD Marcello Distefano whose featured food story is a favourite childhood memory of his grandmother taking him to buy swordfish at a fish market in Sicily.

Festival director Siobhan Hanley comments: “Our Food Stories project is here to acknowledge the absolute centrality of food to people’s lives as well as our 15th anniversary. Everyone has a favourite food memory, story, recipe or even kitchen utensil and we want to hear about them! Our Festival is free, democratic and all about Manchester and its people – our Food Stories site is a way to celebrate that and give food fans a channel to participate. Its launch this week is the perfect way to let people know that the festival is back, and tickets for special events are now on sale.”


The Festival is now looking for additional food and drink stories from across Manchester. All people have to do is post their story of no more than 100 words on the MFDF Facebook page at giving it a title, your name and where you live. The Festival will then pick 10 of the best stories to include on the site with their own special illustrations.

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