First Programme for Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2017 Announced

Manchester Food and Drink Festival has announced the first strands of its celebratory 20th anniversary programme of events.

By Ben Brown | Last updated 1 June 2017

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Manchester Food and Drink Festival has announced the first strands of its celebratory 20th anniversary programme of events promising an extra special line up in collaboration with Manchester’s most talented chefs, operators and producers – the people responsible for the remarkable change in the city’s gastronomic landscape over the last 20 years.

The 20th birthday edition features an extraordinary programme, which will welcome a wide selection of local, national and international chefs and brands to the city, and take over some of Manchester’s most exciting, historic and even forgotten, locations.

There will be a jam-packed festival of Pop-Up Restaurants at the Festival Hub; live cookery; food parties; unique banquets; an incredible programme of events across the city’s best restaurants; brand new beer bars; dark spirit drinking dens, student supper clubs; street food and a whole feast more.

There will continue to be regular line up announcements in the run up to 28th September, including the special MFDF Awards shortlist announcement. Most of the events will be located at one of two sites – The Festival Hub & the new Mayfield Depot:

The Festival Hub @ Albert Square
28th September – 8th October
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, 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), Vin Van Voom Wine bar, the MFDF live music stage, the MFDF Live Cookery Theatre, a brand new beer bar focused around the best Manchester brews, and the biggest programme of pop up events, masterclasses and workshops yet.

Manchester Food and Drink Festival @ Mayfield Depot
30th September – 7th October
Manchester’s abandoned railway station, and one of the city’s most jaw-dropping spaces, is the location for MFDF’s 20th Birthday Banquets. Breathing new life into this forgotten space, Mayfield will be transformed for the Festival into an extraordinary dining room. A unique, one-off chance to eat and drink in an awe-inspiring, historic, giant of a Manchester landmark.

Here is a day-by-day breakdown of what to expect from the festival:


Fever Tree Gin Garden & The Dark Spirit Den
28th September – 8th October @ Festival Hub
An all new gin garden will be hitting the Festival, with a new addition of the Dark Spirit Den. The Den will host a programme of live entertainment and Fever Tree will be serving up their new dark spirit mixers range including cola, ginger ale and ginger beer.

Just Eat Local Legends Kitchen at The Hub
28th September – 8th October @ Festival Hub
Everyone’s favourite ‘go to’ food delivery service, Just Eat, will partner with some of its most popular restaurants who will bring their own versions of street food to the Festival. From sushi to sweet treats there will be an amazing choice of the latest in street food flavours and, as you’d expect from Just Eat, it’s all supplied by local food-to-go legends.

BOOKATABLE Festival Feast
28th – 9th October – Across the city
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. Confirmed restaurants include The French, Hawksmoor and Harvey Nichols.

MFDF & MCR Beer Week
28th – 9th October – Across the City
MFDF are teaming up with MCR Beer week to create a programme of beer focused events (some free, some ticketed) to run throughout the Festival in some of the best bars, pubs and breweries across the city!


Simon Shaw: Spanish Pop Up Feast
The founder/chef Patron of El Gato Negro will be hosting a truly authentic Spanish pop up feast including modern and traditional Spanish flavours and techniques. On top of this he will also be hosting an exclusive, authentic Spanish evening for 50 special guests in the Festival Hub.
Festival Hub


MFDF & Tampopo 20th Birthday Party
Authentic, independent Pan Asian restaurant is 20 this year too. These two iconic Manchester food brands will be celebrating their joint birthday together the only way that both know how…with one great big gastro birthday party in a magnificent location. Expect a hedonistic mix of fabulous food, full moon fun and Manchester icons.
Mayfield Depot

Deliciously Ella MaE Deli Pop-Up
Lunch and dinner service banquets will be taking place at the Hub by Ella Mills.
A free Deliciously Ella Q&A and book signing will also be taking place at The Hub at 4pm.
Festival Hub


Just Eat Student Supper Club.
Just Eat will be teaming up with the Manchester Universities and some of their best restaurant partners to serve up a take away tasting menu!
Festival Hub


Aiden Byrne: Festival Banquet and Demo & Book Signing
Festival favourite and one of Manchester’s most revered food celebrities, Aiden Byrne will be staging a 6-course tasting menu and wine flight at Manchester House and launching his new book at the Festival Hub with a live cookery demo. Also on 7th October.
Manchester House & Festival Hub

Sugo Pasta Kitchen
The Sugo brothers will be bringing their acclaimed pasta kitchen all the way from Altrincham to the Festival Hub, for one night of pasta and wine pairing in the city centre!
Festival Hub


Hispi Meets The Unabombers.
A collaboration between food and drink innovator, Gary Usher, and club alchemists-turned-restauranteurs The Unabombers, this huge banquet-come-food party will bring together 2 of the hottest food brands in the north – The Refuge and Hispi – along with club pioneers The Unabombers. A completely unique food experience awaits.
Mayfield Depot

Matt Nutter from Allotment – 7 Course Vegan Banquet
Allotment is one of the most exciting culinary destinations to hit Greater Manchester and its rave reviews are testament to the talents of Matt Nutter and his team. The vegan banquet will give an insight into just how delicious the menu is using locally sourced, high quality vegan and gluten free food like you’ve never tasted before. The seven-course vegan tasting banquet will include his take on a ‘Vegetable Grill’ for main and a playful shot at tea and biscuits for dessert.
Festival Hub


Beer and Wine Tasting with Food Pairing by Reserve, Cloudwater & Wolf House Kitchen
BBC star and founder of Reserve wines Kate Goodman meets Cloudwater Beer extraordinaire, Paul Jones. One of the key figures behind Manchester’s micro beer boom, Paul will be teaming up with Kate for the first time to host a fascinating evening exploring the cultural and gastronomic differences between wine and beer alongside the best food pairings for each.
Festival Hub

MFDF Big Indie Wine Fest
One of Manchester’s most well known buildings, located at the gateway to Spinningfields, Manchester Hall is a Grade II listed building that has been transformed into a stunning and unique space. It will be hosting this year’s ‘ Big Indie Wine Fest’ which returns to the Festival as one of the most popular events. With an extra special bonanza of independent wine merchants bringing the highest quality exclusive wine this event is one not to be missed. Serving new wines from Croatia to independent French wines the event will also host a session of masterclasses including a wine tasting masterclass by the BBC’s Kate Goodman. (Also 7th October)
Manchester Hall

Thomasina Miers: Day of the Dead
Forget the infamous “Spectre” opening scene, Thomasina Miers, the red hot Mexican food entrepreneur, brings a new gastro take on the infamous ‘Day of the Dead’ with a Mexican banquet every bit as fantastical as the venue in which it’s taking place. Thomasina will also be live at the Festival Hub Cookery Theatre performing a cookery demo and signing copies of her new book ‘Home Cook by Thomasina Miers’.
Mayfield Depot & Festival Hub

Nisha Katona: Cookery Demo & Book Signing
Owner of Mowgli restaurants, TV personality and Food Writer, Nisha Katona will be sharing her skills at her first MFDF cookery demo, and will be signing copies of her new book ‘The Spice Tree’.
Festival Hub

Kwoklyn Wan: Cookery Demo & Book Signing
Brother of stylist and foodie, Gok Wan, Kwoklyn will be coming to Manchester to demonstrate recipes from his new cookery book Chinese Soul Food and signing copies afterwards.
Festival Hub

20 Years of Beer
Connor Murphy from MCR Beer Week and Paul Jones from Cloudwater will be teaming up with some of the best brewers in Manchester to give an insight and tasting of the past 20 years of beer in Manchester. From the ‘big family’ breweries to the explosion of independent microbreweries, which have become one of Manchester’s globally famous outputs in recent years, this tasting will be a 20 year commemoration of the finest, most fabulous brews!
Festival Hub


Manchester Tart Off
In celebration of 20 years of MFDF, the Festival are resurrecting a competition that was staged in year 1… The search to find the best Manchester Tart in Manchester.
The people of Greater Manchester will be asked to put their heart into the tart and enter their homemade creations so that the ultimate Tart of Manchester can be crowned! Details on how to enter will be revealed soon and to find out more email
Festival Hub

For more details head to