Kantina - the city's NEW Food & Drink Festival with Michelin-starred Chefs, Exclusive Collabs & LOADS more...

Including Simon Martin, Gary Usher, Mary-Ellen McTague, Brad Carter and Sam Buckley...

By Manchester's Finest | 4 February 2021

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The first details of the city’s brand-new Food & Drink Festival – KANTINA WEEKENDER – have been unveiled, and there’s some seriously exciting additions to the roster – with the UK’s most prestigious chefs, cocktails makers, brewers and local restaurant heroes.

Taking place from Friday 28th May – Monday 31st May, KANTINA will be held at the iconic Escape to Freight Island at Depot Mayfield, and it’ll be a celebration of food and drink in all of its depth and diversity.

The first phase line-up has been curated with a passion for incredible food, craft-beers, new-world wines and liquors – with the ethos to match the stellar line up of the in-house vendors at Escape to Freight Island – with special partners for next level collaborations.

Mary-Ellen McTague, from Creameries in Chorlton will pair with Great North Pie Co
Gary Usher from Elite Bistros will partner with Forever Changes,
Tast of King Street and Baratxuri will join grill forces,
Michelin-starred chef Brad Carter of Carters of Mosley will partner with taco experts Madre,
Pippy Eats with Mi + Pho for noodle heaven!

The line-up also includes Stosie Madi, from Parkers Arms, the legendary Simon Martin from Manchester’s first Michelin starred restaurant in 41 years Mana; as well as an appearance by Joseph Otway and Richard Cossins’ exquisite Higher Ground.

Joining Dan Hope of Escape to Freight Island’s Plant Grill and as a key part of the Kantina Weekender will be Sam Buckley, from the applauded Stockport-based restaurant Where The Light Gets In, which has most recently taken the accolade to become one of only 23 businesses in the UK and Ireland to receive a ‘green’ Michelin star. The new ‘green’ star celebrates sustainable gastronomy practises and recognises the restaurants who are leading the way in sustainability.

Sam Buckley, the genius behind the restaurant said; “I’m absolutely delighted to finally be cooking at Escape to Freight Island. It’s an incredible space in the heart of the city and Kantina Weekender will be a great return for food fans across the country.”

More information about these incredible chefs will be announced in the coming weeks.

Dishoom, the nations favourite Bombay comfort food will be at the weekender, Pomona Island will team up with Lervig and Northern Monk; Deya and Camden Town Brewery will complete the beer offering and on the wine side, Charlie Miller from The Laughing Heart and Dom the Som aka Dynamite MC, will join other special guest wine experts to be announced soon.

The Laughing Heart

As ever, during Kantina Weekender, Escape to Freight Island will host a vibrant roster of iconic accompanying live entertainment, exclusive talks on stage, satellite events, wine tasting and a guaranteed feast for all.

The charity partner for Kantina Weekender will be Eat Well MCR – a Manchester collective made up of hospitality professionals and volunteers from all sectors delivering meals to people facing challenging circumstances in the Great Manchester area. A percentage will included on to bills with the choice to opt-out.

Eat Well MCR

Dan Morris, managing director of Escape To Freight Island said: “Kantina Weekender is an opportunity to finally come back together and share in the joy of food and drink. We are very proud to be able to showcase the talents of the Escape To Freight Island residents whist they collaborate with some of the UK’s most prestigious chefs, brewers, bartenders and all round hospitality heroes. Manchester’s food and drink scene is a special one and we can’t wait to celebrate it.”

As well as its culinary kudos, Escape to Freight Island won countless accolades in 2020 as an industry and world innovator when it came to operating during the pandemic, establishing itself as a social and cultural hub. This will of course continue in 2021, as soon as the hospitality industry is given the green light to reopen.

Kantina Weekender will truly be a feast for the city.


Pre-sale tickets go on sale on Thursday 4th February and general sale on Friday 5th February. Click below to sign up and purchase tickets…

Escape to Freight Island presents: KANTINA Weekender

Date: May 29th – 31st
Cost: £35 (becomes redeemable credit at the event)

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