In a schedule that takes in the true breadth of what Manchester has to offer in 2016 – from amazing beers and beautiful food to astonishing spaces and incredible heritage – this is a programme that truly celebrates what it means to dine and drink in the UK’s most extraordinary city, right here, right now. I’ve got my eye on various events, including Duck and Waffle, MilkJam and Eat with Adam Reid (I just hope I can get away as I’ve got writing deadlines coming out of my ears). It’s a brilliant schedule, fit for any foodie… which ones will you be going to? Here’s the line-up in its entirety:
THE MFDF HIDDEN BANQUETS SERIES…
IN ASSOCIATION WITH ALLIED LONDON
Various Locations Throughout the Festival
MFDF have teamed up with Manchester’s most creative developers, Allied London, to bring a celebration of food, culture and the city’s spectacular landscape to Manchester, the likes of which has never been done before. The Hidden Banquets series will allow festival-goers to explore some of the city’s secret, undiscovered and down right jaw dropping spaces, in association with the nation’s most talented and exciting chefs, all in the context of Manchester’s cultural identity and heritage. The banquet series is sponsored by Allied London whose vision and ability to reimagine urban spaces nationally renowned. Each banquet in the series will take in a different, remarkable location, feature a different exceptional chef, and will be themed around the most iconic aspects of Manchester’s heritage, identity and contribution to the world. There are limited number of tickets for each banquet – and when they’re gone they’re gone!
“INDUSTRY” BY DAN DOHERTY (DUCK AND WAFFLE) AT THE BONDED WAREHOUSE 8 October £75pp
Industry by Dan Doherty” will be a banquet for 175 people in the top floor of one of the most important buildings in shaping Manchester’s industrial heritage – The Bonded Warehouse. Built in the 1860s, the venue is a piece of architectural heritage located within the heart of the new St. John’s neighbourhood, which forged modern day Manchester. Dan, who is Group Executive Chef at London’s acclaimed, 24-hour restaurant, Duck and Waffle, has chosen to raise vital funds for a charity very close to his heart, Action Against Hunger, whom Dan has supported for many years His banquet will created especially for the “industry” theme. Historian, Blue Badge Guide and author, Jonathan Schofield, will set the historical scene throughout dinner –bringing the building’s past to life, as well as Manchester’s wider role in the industrial revolution and everything that means for us here today.
This is a once-off opportunity to feast in an incredible, unexplored space overlooking the city with a very special guest chef. Tickets on sale here.
“TV” BY MILKJAM AT OLD GRANADA STUDIOS 6 October £55
“TV” by MilkJam is a dinner for 75 people at the birthplace of independent TV in Manchester – Old Granada Studios, the site for Allied London’s new St. John’s neighbourhood. This special TV-themed dinner is hosted by MilkJam, a confectionery/gelato supergroup consisting of Claire ‘Ginger’s Comfort Emporium’ Kelsey, Charlotte ‘BakeOrama’ O’Toole and Nicki ‘Lush Brownies’ Griffiths. The experimental dessert banquet will be a 6-course feast consisting entirely of the kind of desserts that the 3 women are famous for, but thanks to the creative approach from each, the experience will provide a stunning dinner for any fully rounded palate. Guests are invited to come dressed as their favourite Granada TV character. A donation from tickets will be made to Forever Manchester, The Community Foundation for Greater Manchester. Tickets on sale here.
“TECHNOLOGY BY DELIVEROO AND THE RESTAURANTS OF MANCHESTER AT SOUND STAGE TWO” £55
“Technology” will explore Manchester’s (huge) contribution to technology – as a the birthplace of the computer and now one of the world’s most cutting edge cities, there’s plenty to go at. The event is, appropriately, sponsored by one of the most successful food apps of all time Deliveroo and brought to guests by them in association with some of Manchester’s best restaurants.
There’ll be guest talks from apps that have changed our lives, all in a TED talk style, plus a commentary from historian Jonathan Schofield putting Manchester’s contribution to technology in context.
The venue – Sound Stage Two at Old Granada Studios – a high spec filming space was used as the set for Roy’s Rolls on Corrie and is still in use as a film set. This is a location never used before by the public and will be accessed via an exciting trail to be revealed on the night.
Dinner will come in the form of a 5 course banquet courtesy of 5 different Deliveroo Restaurants and deliveroo’d fresh from their kitchens: Tampopo, Salvi’s Almost Famous
Scene, Vapiano … and with Wine by Veeno!
Guests are also invited to bring their own booze to accompany the rest of the banquet!
The New Improved Festival Hub Albert Square, Manchester City Centre. 29th September – 9th October FREE
The heart of the action, 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, but 2016 will see the ‘beating heart’ of the Festival get a makeover, 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), The Wainwright Bar, Fever-Tree Gin Garden, Vin Van Voom Wine Bar, the MFDF live music stage and the now legendary “Manchester’s 100 Greatest Beer Bar” In addition there’ll be a rolling programme of pop up events, mini festivals, masterclasses and more.
POP-UPS – ALBERT SQUARE’S OWN GUEST RESTAURANTS Throughout the Festival TICKETED Albert Square This year’s Festival Hub will have its own pop-up restaurant at MFDF as guests from the city and suburb’s bring special, one-off festival restaurant experiences to Albert Square. With limited availability these very special dining occasions are expected to go in a flash so watch this space for tickets going on sale! This will include…
EAT With Adam – Adam Reid’s MFDF Fest-aurant 4th, 5th, 6th October £60 Festival Hub, Albert Square The French by Simon Rogan’s acclaimed Head Chef and previous MFDF ‘Chef of the Year’, Adam Reid, will be bringing an exclusive and bespoke tasting experience to the Festival Hub. Expect an original take on a truly inclusive tasting menu, designed specifically for MFDF 2016. Tickets on sale now.
Baratxuri In The City 7th October £40 Festival Hub, Albert Square The team behind Ramsbottom’s amazing Basque bar, Baratxuri, come into the heart of the city centre to take over the Festival Hub guest restaurant for one night only. Joe Botham (nominated for Chef of this Year in this year’s Food and Drink Awards) and his team are specialist in pintxos, those tapas-like tidbits you nibble in the bars of San Sebastian and Bilbao, a vibe Baratxuri recreates in its small terraced base. Order dishes from their daily changing ‘cooked to order’ menu such as txistorra, a chorizo sausage roll or txangurro a la donastiana, a spider crab tartlet. Accompany with the traditional Basque white wine, txakoli, bone-dry low in alcohol with a taste of green apples and a slight spritz. Tickets on sale now.
Jackie Kearney’s Experimental Vegan Banquet 8th October £35 Festival Hub, Albert Square Author of Vegan Street Food, Master Chef Runner Up and general street food legend, Jackie Kearney will be gracing MFDF with her meat and dairy free super powers with an experimental vegan banquet. From artichoke oysters with seaweed caviar and do-it-yourself experiments with raw food to a spectacular one-off dessert designed by Manchester’s very own MilkJam, the menu aims to surprise and inspire MFDF diners with a six course feast of imaginative and delicious vegan food for all. Tickets on sale now.
LIVE COOKERY THEATRE AT THE FESTIVAL HUB
Saturday 1st October and Saturday 8th October, FREE, Festival Hub Albert Square
The Live Cookery Theatre at the Festival Hub will play host to a range of chefs from Manchester, The North West and beyond. Saturday 1st October 2pm Simon Shaw – El Gato Negro 3pm Bruno Birkbeck – Ribble Valley Inns 4pm Byron Moses – Evelyn’s Kitchen Saturday 8th October 12.30pm Sean Sutton – Alderley Edge Hotel 2pm Nadiya Hussain – Great British Bake Off winner 3.30pm Aiden Byrne – Manchester House
THE MFDF BIG INDIE WINE FEST 7th & 8th October, £15, The Whitworth Art Gallery
One of the Festival’s longest standing and most beloved events finds its spiritual home at last, as it comes to a venue that can finally equal the beauty of the wines on offer! This will be the biggest, best and most ‘artistic’ celebration of exciting, exclusive and boutique wines from the very best independent wine merchants from across the UK. There’ll be suitable refueling opportunities provided by fine food producers too. Tickets on sale now.
ITALIAN FESTIVAL IN ASSOCIATION WITH SALVI’S 2nd October, FREE Festival Hub, Albert Square
This year the Festival will be celebrating the country that has perhaps given the world more cuisine to treasure than anywhere else. After all, where would Manchester be without the Italian contribution to our gastronomy and heritage… and most of all without pizza! As the city’s thirst for Italian food seems to grow weekly, MFDF have teamed up with Manchester’s authentic Italian food business, Salvi’s, to stage a weekend dedicated to the likes of Buffalo Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Prosecco, pizza, gelato, olive oil, salami, Parma ham, Primitivo and stacks more. Salvi’s will be inviting their favourite producers from Naples and the Campania region, where they’re from, to the Festival for one weekend of blissful banqueting at the Festival Hub. As well as food stalls, samplings and tastings there’ll be a “20 Metre Pizza” street collaboration.
THREE WINE WOMEN FEATURING SUSY ATKINs, 29th September, £25 Festival Hub, Albert Square
After the success of last year’s ‘Three Wine Women’ visit this year MFDF will be staging the event on a new theme and with a new visiting ‘wine woman’! Susy Atkins will join the BBC’s Kate Goodman (owner of Didsbury’s Reserve Wine Shop) and Evuna Manchester’s Jane Dowler who will make up this year’s trio of talent hosting an extraordinary evening of fabulous wines. Tickets on sale now.
MFDF SPANISH TRAIL
£65 Various Locations
MFDF celebrate the remarkable blossoming of Spanish cuisine in the city centre with a tapas crawl that could be done nowhere else in the UK, incorporating a ‘Magnifico Seven’ restaurants sited along, or just off, Deansgate – Evuna, El Rincon, Tapeo & Wine, Iberica, La Bandera, El Gato Negro and Lunya. Each night our Spanish explorers will start with a glass of cava at the Instituto Cervantes, then split into two groups, each led by a green badge guide, to visit four of the restaurants, receiving a drink and signature tapa in each. Tickets on sale now.
THE FESTIVAL FRINGE As well as the Festival events mentioned so far, there’ll be a whole host of other wild and wonderful food events across Manchester’s spectacular restaurants, bars, cafes, delis, museums and more. Highlights include:
Thursday 29 Sep
Real Junk Food Manchester Presents: The Binner Party – A Celebration
A fundraising dinner with a difference – hosted by 53two, Manchester’s newest “secret” venue. Head chef Mary-Ellen McTague will cook a feast made entirely from food that would otherwise go to waste. Funds raised will go towards their mission to open the city’s first food surplus, pay-as-you-feel restaurant; this dinner is on the same basis. Thanks to partner Ask Real Estate it will also be the chance to explore a unique urban space alongside drinks, dinner and live music.
53two, Manchester city centre. Drinks 7pm, dinner 8pm. Free to book.Contact [email protected].
Mon 3 Oct, 6pm – 7pm, 8.30pm – 9.30pm
España Moderna with El Gato Negro
Take a tour through the flavours of Spain at acclaimed tapas restaurantEl Gato Negro. Spanish food is all about quality provenance and chef patron Simon Shaw has created a special menu for the event to help you explore modern and traditional flavours alongside some of the country’s best wines. The intimate dinner at the impressive King Street venue will include a glass of cava on arrival, six dishes with wine and sherry pairings and a cocktail to finish in the handsome top floor cocktail bar, The Black Cat.
Tickets £90, To book book ring 0161 694 8585 or email
Mon 3 Oct & Wed 5 Oct, 6pm
Explore fine wine and exquisite meats at Fazenda Bar & Grill
Fazenda is renowned for its mouth-watering cuts of delicious meats, matched with one of the finest wine lists around. To explore the possibilities of both, join sommelier Chris Milner as he hosts a MFDF masterclass giving guests the opportunity to explore hand-picked Argentinian and Brazilian wines. Bottles will be expertly paired with the restaurant’s famous selection of 15 freshly grilled meats, allowing winers and diners to enjoy the full, luxurious Fazenda experience.
Tickets £40. Book via:
Tuesday 4 Oct, 7pm
Nacho Manzano’s Festival Dinner at Iberica
A very special Spanish treat as Iberica’s exec chef and holder of three Michelin stars in his native Spain, will be joined at Iberica Spinningfields by one of the North West’s finest chefs for a special one-off event. Nacho and a special guest chef will provide a bespoke 6 course menu focusing on game, using the finest seasonal ingredients, and showcasing some of the dishes available on Iberica’s autumn menu. A night not to be missed!
Thursday 6 Oct, 6pm
Lowry Hotel 15th Anniversary Banquet
It’s an amazing 15 years since the city’s finest modern luxury hotel arrived on the banks of the Irwell. Since when it has hosted a galaxy of famous guests and no little part of its immense appeal has been the River Restaurant and Bar with its views of Santiago Calatrava’s equally sleek Trinity Bridge. It seems appropriate then that the 15th anniversary is being celebrated with a 15-course gourmet dinner in collaboration with MFDF. Exec chef Andrew Green and his team have done the celebration proud with a parade of dishes that include foie gras, elderberry, plum; oxtail consomme, pak choi, radish; venison tortelloni, girolles; poached lemon sole, crayfish, chive beurre blanc and hogget rosti, artichoke, watercress.
Tickets £59, book via www.thelowryhotel.com
Thursday 6 Oct, 7pm
Celebrating Ten Years of Hawksmoor
Hawksmoor’s 10th anniversary celebrations continue at the MFDF with a special dinner in their gorgeous private dining room showcasing their Hawksmoor Classics Menu. This tells the upmarket restaurant chain’s story in six decade-spanning courses, featuring shortrib nuggets with kimchi ketchup, scallops with white port and garlic, Tamworth pork belly ribs, beef fillet or rib-eye with sides and sauces, sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream and salted caramel ‘Tributes’. If your idea of a good time is six courses of great food, paired with wine, whisky and a cocktail, plus a few mildly entertaining stories, well … this might just be for you. Maximum number of guests is just 14, so book quickly.
Tickets £65. Book via www.foodanddrinkfestival.com
Friday 7 October
An Evening with Louis XIII at Tattu
Tattu Parlour hosts an exclusive evening with Louis XIII, one of the most prestigious brands of cognac in existence. Includes a 4 course dinner with paired wine, cognac tasting and talk from brand ambassador Brian Copeland.
Tattu Restaurant & Bar, Gartside Street, 3 Hardman Square, Manchester, M3 3EB.
Saturday October 8
Robert Owen Brown’s Edwardian themed Ancoats Supper Club
ACCLAIMED chef Robert Owen Brown is hosting an Edwardian themed, 5 course Supper Club at Ancoats Coffee Co in collaboration with Inca Pop Ups. Feel free to dress up in the style of the age in the Grade II* listed Edwardian Royal Mill.
Ancoats Coffee Co, 17 Redhill Street, Manchester, M4 5BA. 7pm.
BOOKATABLE FESTIVAL FEAST Across Manchester Throughout the Festival Booking Required The Bookatable Festival Feast will be a series of limited edition, bespoke, dining menus, created by Manchester’s restaurants especially for the Manchester Food and Drink festival in association with Bookatable! The full programme of Bookatable Festival Feasts can be found here.
GREAT MANCHESTER BAKE OFF 9th October FREE Festival Hub Following the success of last year’s Great Manchester Bake Off, the search will be on again for Manchester’s greatest bakers! We’ll be inviting the region’s hottest amateur bakers to enter the race to become Manchester’s second MFDF Bake Off Champion. Entrants will need to register, then will be invited to bring their creations to the first heat to be judged by MFDF’s answer to Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood… All will Finalists will be chosen at the first heat when they’ll be challenged to bring another creation to the Festival Hub on the 9th October, where a huge Festival Bake Sale will be taking place too! Prizes include £800 worth of baking goodies courtesy of Nisbett’s including a Kitchen Aid Mixer.
MFDF GALA DINNER AND AWARDS 10 October £84 The Palace Hotel The MFDF Awards are the most coveted in the land. This year, awards will be presented in 17 categories including 5 new awards categories for 2016. These have been chosen to reflect the transformation of Manchester’s dining scene in recent years. The glittering event will take place in the Palace’s spectacular and newly redeveloped Ballroom on Monday 10th October and will be hosted by BBC Radio Manchester’s Becky Want and XS Manchester’s Matt White.
The Palace Hotel will be offering overnight packages especially for guests who would like to stay over after the event: http://www.palacehotelmanchestercity.co.uk/offers/manchester-food-drink-festival-offer