Manchester Food and Drink Festival Announce First Programme Highlights for the 21st Annual Festival

The 21st annual Manchester Food and Drink Festival will take place from 27th September to 8th October.

By Manchester's Finest | 8 June 2018

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Today the Festival made the first programme announcements for what is set to be a glorious 12 days of celebrating the city’s magnificent and ever-evolving food culture this autumn. For its 21st edition, MFDF promises a new chapter for the Festival, with a jam-packed programme of events that food fans will love.

It is more than ever about enjoying the very best of our city’s extraordinary food and drink talent, about celebrating our iconic city and staging events designed around what the foodies of Manchester really want to experience.

This year the Festival will be bringing everything, and everyone, together at the marvellous and revamped Festival Hub on Albert Square.

The Festival Hub will open at 12 pm on Thursday 27th September and will close at 11 pm on Sunday 7th October. Open daily from 12pm-11pm, it will be free to enter and this year, as promised by the MFDF team, will be refreshed and redesigned. Plus, it will be the location of the biggest Festival Feast yet.

There’ll also be an exquisite programme of events and happenings all over Manchester, featuring collaborations with a huge breadth of the city’s most talented foodies. From beer brewers to ice cream makers, from chefs to gin distillers. This is a Festival that Manchester builds together – creating one, big, all-you-can-eat banquet!

And let us not forget about drink. MFDF will see the likes of a pop-up G&T bar by Double Dutch, the Manchester Brew Fest, The Cider Fest and The Big Indie Wine Fest at Manchester Hall. The Brooklyn Larger Beer Bus will be about also- so keep your eyes peeled for that- it is bright yellow so you cannot really miss it.

As ever, MFDF will be attracting some big names from further afield with Jasmine Hemsley and Jay Rayner already announced. The nation’s biggest food party culminates with the MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards on 8th October.

The First Programme Announcements…

The New Look Festival Hub
27th September – 7th October

Visitors to Albert Square this year can expect a newly designed site with exciting new structures, live experiences and the biggest programme of events yet, all taking place under Manchester skies and in the shadow of the Town Hall.

One such new feature will be the Dining Dome – a great big spherical foodie palace and the location for a host of specially curated banquets, supper clubs and food parties. The whole Hub experience will be improved with a new site design that will allow for even more foodie partners to find a home there this autumn. Dozens of the best street food heroes will serve up gorgeous local cuisine alongside some of the most exciting restaurant brands in the city.

Plus, there’ll be a newly designed Festival Bar space featuring all of Manchester’s breweries; a host of new drinking activations – from beer buses to gin containers; a better-than-ever music stage; and a non-stop calendar of the most exciting food experiences yet.

The Dining Dome Banquets…
The story so far at the city’s most exciting new pop-up dining space.

Cottonopolis Secret Supper Club at The Hub
Thursday 27th Sept & Friday 28th Sept

Cottonopolis’ Secret Supper Club experiences are fast becoming known nationwide for taking immersive dining experiences to the next level. This very special MFDF Secret Supper Club is to be the brand’s most ambitious yet as the Dining Dome will be transformed by Cottonpolis and their team of visual architects into a specially curated dining production of Battle Royale… perhaps with a little less dystopian carnage!

Jasmine Hemsley & Trove Supper Club 
29th September

Well-being goddess, 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 artisans of Trove.

A match made in heaven, Trove’s focus on making food from scratch by hand and with a central focus on organic ingredients and locally sourced produce will meet Jasmine’s home-cooked and mindful approach to create an Ayurvedic menu inspired by Jasmine’s latest book East by West. It will all be paired with Trove’s natural wine collection.

Family Food Fest
Sunday 30th September

Join MFDF, 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 Manchester legend Clint Boon will take over the bar marquee and other child-friendly hands-on activity will be scattered across the whole site meaning that parents can enjoy all the fun of the Fest while the kids are entertained too. This is the perfect weekend for parents who love festivals and food!

The Rabbit in the Moon @ The Dome – Pop Up Supper Club
Monday 1st October

Head Chef John Granaghan at Manchester’s Rabbit in the Moon is bringing his stunning, space-age plates of food to the futuristic MFDF Dome for one very special night only, with an exclusive menu curated especially for this unique MFDF experience.

Caviar & Champagne Tasting with Ed Baines and Randall & Aubin 
Tuesday 2nd October

Manchester’s fabulous Randall and Aubin team up with The Gourmet Caviar House to present a rare gastro opportunity. Guests will be guided through Randall and Aubin’s house Champagne perfectly matched with some of the most exquisite caviars around, all by the experienced hand of Ed Baines himself and ambassadors from the Gourmet Caviar House.

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‘A Trip to Brazil’ A Gastro Guide with Francisco Martinez & Fazenda
Wednesday 3rd October

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.

Guests can expect an avant-garde dining experience that showcases Brazilian food at its best – an eight-course menu paired with four wines from Brazilian producer, Miolo. Guests can expect an evening of surprises, with dishes rich in colour, flavour and emotion – a fully immersive and sensory dining experience is promised!

Price £50 per person with profits will be donated to Action Against Hunger.

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Hatch Pop Up Supper Club
Thursday 4th October

Hatch, the new pop up food, drink and retail destination on Oxford Road and a selection of its fantastic street food traders will be taking over the Dining Dome for the evening staging a special Hatch Supper Club. Each course will be provided by one of their top-notch, home-grown and independent street food heroes making for a fabulous and eclectic feast.

The menu will be paired with beers from Öl – Hatch’s on-site nano brewery and topped off with coffees and desserts from Takk, the artisan coffee house also situated at Hatch.

Spanish Feast by Lunya, Baraxturi and Evuna
Friday 5th October

The city’s spectacular Spanish food scene just keeps getting better and better… This special MFDF banquet will be an extraordinary food fiesta as three of Manchester’s most magnificent get together for a collaborative feast taking in the most delicious of Spanish cuisine – from Catalunya to Basque country and other regions across Spain. Expect authentic, artisan ingredients and stunning wines to come together for a glorious evening of Spanish food at its finest.

MFDF & Albert’s Schloss Present:  The Jay Rayner Quartet at Albert’s Schloss
Friday 28th September

The big bad wolf of the dining world, and the country’s most famous restaurant critic, Jay Rayner rather liked Albert’s Schloss when he visited earlier this year for his Observer restaurant column. So much so that he has agreed to bring his Jazz Quartet to the venue for a night of music, storytelling, food and drink. 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.

Made up of some of Britain’s best musicians, including Jay’s wife who is an accomplished jazz singer, Jay’s quartet will be performing a repertoire from the great American songbook with special attention paid to numbers about food and drink. All of this will be brought to audiences in the friendly bohemian beer palace that is Albert’s Schloss. A special Jay Rayner menu will be served throughout!

This event is free to attend but by booking only – speedy booking is advisable!

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To find out more and see the full listings please visit