It is one of the city’s best-loved and most established festivals, and for the first time the central, outdoor “Festival Hub” is happening in Manchester’s beautiful Cathedral Gardens, creating an entirely new festival experience right in the heart of one of the city’s most picturesque public spaces.
This new Festival Hub destination will create a more village-like, greenfield-style Festival site – a foodie oasis in the city centre, which will be home to the “Dining Dome”. A bigger, better-than-ever epicentre for the Festival’s impressive programme of phenomenal foodie events at the Hub, the new-look Dining Dome will form the centrepiece of this exciting new location on Cathedral Gardens.
It will be surrounded by a great variety of bespoke booze offerings including an exceptional gin bar. There will also be a HUGE local craft beer bar serving up the very best beers from the region’s incredible brewery and micro-brewery scene – from Beatnikz to Black Jack – as well as a new wine bar.
The new Festival Hub will also, for the first time, be home to an artisan market bringing some of the finest food and drink producers together for a gastro shopping experience, plus as ever, an expertly curated collection of the finest street food heroes around.
The City Life stage will feature an eclectic mix of Manchester’s best talent, plus there’ll be chef demos, a cider fest and a whole host of other fantastic foodies popping up throughout the 11-day Festival Hub celebrations.
So without further ado, MFDF19 programme so far is as follows:
Thursday 26th September
One of Manchester’s most anticipated arrivals of 2019, Bistrotheque is set to come to the city this July, and, whilst still currently based in the capital, they’ve already organised their Manchester Food and Drink Festival appearance via an incredible Dining Dome banquet designed to showcase the classic Bistrotheque experience. Diners can expect great, uncomplicated food, drink and service delivered with good taste and a dollop of fun! A special MFDF menu will be created by Chef Director Blaine Duffy and include arrival cocktails, three courses, a quality wine pairing and digestif.
An Evening with Simon Shaw
Friday 27th September
One of Manchester’s most innovative, exciting and respected chefs will be hosting an intimate evening in the Dining Dome as he brings together a specially curated collection of his most renowned dishes from across his acclaimed restaurant brands El Gato Negro and Canto. Guests will be taken on a journey through Simon’s authentic and attentive cookery style via some exquisite dishes from across the world with Spanish and Portuguese influences throughout, and all inspired by Simon’s love of travel. Each course will be paired with a specially selected wine and tickets also include a drinks reception.
Roots and Future – A Tasting Menu by Francisco Martinez of Fazenda Group in Aid of Action Against Hunger
Tuesday 1st October
Fazenda’s Executive Chef Fran Martinez will return to The Dome (after a sell-out extravaganza last year) with an exclusive eight-course tasting menu which celebrates the cultural diversity of Fazenda’s roots through Argentinian & Brazilian cuisines. Paired with exquisite South American wines & cocktails, each dish in this culinary journey fuses tradition with innovation, offering an amalgamation of these two countries’ finest ingredients and flavours. All proceeds from the evening will be donated to Fazenda’s group charity, Action Against Hunger.
Comfort Food ‘Sounds’ Good – A Communal Feast by Adam Reid
Wednesday 2nd October
MFDF’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year winner and recent star of BBC’s Great British Menu, Adam Reid is to create the ultimate communal, comfort food, festival feast, all inspired by his Great British Menu Dish ‘Comfort Food ‘Sounds’ Good’.
Adam will depart from his signature fine-dining style to host an evening of social eating and great British music at this laid-back gastro get together, all in the extraordinary setting of the Dining Dome.
The dish is inspired by Adam’s love of food and music – both things, as he reported on the show, in which he finds comfort when things get tough. The dish is based on his Grandad’s recipe – the ultimate ‘hug in a bowl’. Adam swears by the combination of this perfectly pitched comfort food and the power of music to lift his spirits and is going create the ultimate foodie event for the soul at this year’s MFDF.
He invites guests to join him to feast on his version of chicken stew (crowns of Organic Rhug Estate Chicken, served with his elixir-like stew) alongside a playlist of Great British music (from The Beatles to the Arctic Monkeys & Oasis) for a Festival food celebration like no other. The feast will be complemented with specially curated cocktails.
An Evening With Paco Perez and Tast
Thursday 3rd October
Catalan cuisine experts Tast present a very special evening in the Dining Dome as they host a three-course dinner designed, cooked and served by Tast’s Head Chef Miquel Villacrosa and the Michelin-starred Spanish cooking giant, Paco Perez. Paco is Tast’s world-famous Executive Chef.
Based in Barcelona, he is flying in especially for the Manchester Food and Drink Festival and curating a more casual Tast dining occasion allowing guests to experience their acclaimed cuisine, cooked by the main man himself, in an extraordinary setting. Paco promises wonderful dishes inspired by the beautiful Catalan landscape: the sea and the mountains, the countryside and the cities.
The MFDF Curry Collective with Bundobust, Dishoom, Lily’s and Sanskruti
Friday 4th October
Fancy joining the ultimate curry club for the night? Well MFDF invites you to kick off your weekend with a curry night curated by the most exciting and revered names from Manchester’s excellent South Indian dining scene.
The banquet will be kicked off with Indian snacks from Gujarat street food legends Bundobust alongside an arrival cocktail created by their team. Experts too in the pairing of incredible craft beers with curry, Bundobust will be providing a carefully matched flight of brews to go with each course.
One of the hottest restaurant arrivals of the year, Bombay Dining Room Dishoom, are set to cook up their Manchester special dish Nalli Nihari Biryani for the evening, whilst two more incredible courses will come from a pair of the city’s most famous independent, suburban Indian restaurants – Lily’s in Ashton and Sanskruti in Withington.
They will be serving up in the city centre for the first time especially for MFDF. Both have built up huge followings and garnered rave national reviews from their modest out-of-town outposts. This will be a chance to feast on their stunning home-cooked style Indian food as part of a truly authentic and very special Friday night curry spectacle.
The Art of Dining with Aiden Byrne at Manchester Art Gallery
Saturday 5th October
As the finale to Manchester Art Gallery’s unique series of art-meets-food supper clubs in collaboration with Manchester Food and Drink Festival, Aiden Byrne, owner and executive chef at Restaurant MCR will be teaming up with the art gallery curators to create the ultimate food and art feast.
Each of these exclusive events has seen Manchester’s best chefs create a one-off, immersive dining experience, themed around a different exhibition taking place in the stunning surroundings of Manchester Art Gallery.
Aiden’s event will celebrate the whole of the Art Gallery’s collection – not just focusing on one exhibition but the finest pieces in the gallery overall.
Aiden will be cooking a six-course tasting menu with each dish inspired by a different piece of art displayed in the gallery. As each course is served, guests will hear from the curators and Aiden who will guide them through the art and the dish.
MFDF WINE & FIZZ FESTIVAL
4th & 5th October
The MFDF Wine and Fizz Festival will be a great big, fun-packed celebration of the most exciting and exclusive wines and fizz from around the world.
Although the wines will be serious, the event is set to be a jolly and light-hearted occasion providing a great day or evening out for anyone who loves wine – from the passionate enthusiast to the novice fizz fan.
MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards at Gorton Monastery
The sparkling culmination of MFDF, the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Gala Dinner and Awards will be returning to the stunning and gothic surrounds of Gorton Monastery. The most coveted and highest profile food awards in the North of England, the gongs will, as usual, be distributed to a room packed with the region’s food and drink ‘A list’. The MFDF awards shortlist will be announced in June when tickets will go on sale for this fabulous and hotly anticipated event.
More Festival announcements will be made from now through to the Festival – with the MFDF socials updated with all the latest news…
Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2019
Venue: MFDF Festival Hub, Manchester Art Gallery +
Date: 26th September – 7th October