The Manchester Food and Drink Festival kicks off on Thursday, September 16 with the full raucous backing at the Cathedral Gardens Hub of Mr Wilson’s Secondliners (above). As usual the Festival is packed with events and should profit from a huge public appetite for some kind of tasty ‘new normal’. Here is my choice of five very special MFDF opportunities to enjoy yourself and support a resurgent hospitality industry…
Bull & Bear Festival Hub Takeover, Cathedral Gardens, 7pm, Mon, Sep 20. £55.
Tom Kerridge’s posh operation in the Stock Exchange Hotel will will be bringing the pub to the hub on Monday 20 September for a three-course feast with music, too. Expect potted Loch Duart salmon with apple jelly and cucumber chutney to start and a braised beef and cheese pie with English mustard for your main and a pud of banana custard with dates, pistachio and honeycomb. The Festival Beer Bar is there to add to the pub experience.
MFDF x Eat Well Dinner, Mana, Blossom Street. Tue Sep 21. £200.
This is the big one – a collab between some of the city’s finest chefs at its only Michelin-starred establishment, all to raise money for Eat Well, a social enterprise tackling food poverty in Manchester. Participating are Mana’s own Simon Martin, Mary-Ellen McTague (The Creameries), Ben Humphries (District), Eddie Shepherd (Walled Garden) and Anna Søgaard (Erst), each preparing one course. Tickets go on sale Friday, September 10. 25 spots only are available. Book here.
Elnecot x It’s Alive Supper Club, Blossom Street. 6pm onwards. Tue Sep 21. £65.
Much-loved Ancoats pioneer Elnecot are joined by their wine suppliers It’s Alive for a menu inspired by the British Isles. Natural wines will be paired with the likes of a Yorkshire hogget broth, a surf and turf and a rendang doughnut.
Tast Meets The Macallan, Tast, King Street. 6.30pm Thu Sep 23. £125.
Exec chef Paco Perez and head chef Julià Castelló have designed a five-course gastronomic tasting menu that includes octopus, oysters, autumn rice with mushrooms, cheese and figs plus poussin, beetroot and truffle. There’ll also be one limited-edition Macallan whisky that pairs with this feast. Choose Barcelona but also choose Scotland via Manchester. Choose a ticket that costs £125.
Sustainable Wine Evening, Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar. 7pm, Thu Sep 23. £28.
Launching a run of seasonal events, Open Kitchen, inside the People’s History Museum, showcase a selection of wines from the Bolney Estate in Kent, a winery known for its sustainable land management since 1972. Taste six wines across the evening (I particularly recommend the Lychgate red) with table snacks and a wider small plates menu available to purchase.
Check out our preview of MFDF – Manchester’s Biggest Chippy Tea Is In The Bag and Your Vote Counts for Everything for a full list of MFDF Awards nominees. For the latest updates on the programme (Sept 16-27) and to vote for your favourites off the shortlists visit the MFDF website.