Manchester Food and Drink Festival First Programme Announcements

Manchester Food and Drink Festival have revealed the first part of its programme as a raft of events go on sale ahead of this Autumn’s foodie bonanza.

MFDF, the country’s biggest urban food event, is taking place from 26th September – 7th October. 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 hosted for the first time by J.J. Whitley, a premium spirits range inspired by the British countryside, and Lamb and Watt natural range of premium mixers. The J.J. Whitley gin range includes London Dry Gin, Elderflower Gin, Nettle Gin, Violet Gin and Pink Cherry Gin which will all be available at the Festival gin bar, perfectly complemented by Lamb & Watt’s superior range of mixers made with organic blue agave, all natural ingredients and spring water sourced in the English Lake District. The range includes original tonic, light tonic, cucumber, hibiscus and basil tonics, as well as a refreshing ginger ale – so a truly wild, natural and botanical gin experience is coming to the Hub this year.


 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.


Camden Town Brewery will also be ‘here with the beer’ at the Festival Hub, pouring fresh beers from their shipping container bar including Camden Hells Lager, Pale Ale and Show Off Juicy Lager. As the Festival’s Official Lager Partner there’ll be plenty of beer activity happening throughout including tastings and samplings plus all their beers will be available on the main, gigantic craft beer bar too.

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.  



Thursday 26th September  

Bistrotheque Classique

7.30pm @ MFDF Dining Dome, Festival Hub, Cathedral Gardens


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 specialMFDF menu will be created by Chef Director Blaine Duffy and include arrival cocktails, three courses, a quality wine pairing and digestif. 


Friday 27th September 

An Evening with Simon Shaw

7.30pm @ The Dining Dome, Festival Hub, Cathedral Gardens


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.



Tuesday 1st October 

Roots and Future – A Tasting Menu by Francisco Martinez of Fazenda Group in Aid of Action Against Hunger

7.30pm @ The Dining Dome, Festival Hub, Cathedral Gardens


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. 


Wednesday 2nd October

Comfort Food ‘Sounds’ Good – A Communal Feast by Adam Reid

7.30pm @ The Dining Dome, Festival Hub, Cathedral Gardens


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 complimented with specially curated cocktails.


Thursday 3rd October

An Evening With Paco Perez and Tast

7.30pm @ The Dining Dome, Festival Hub, Cathedral Gardens

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.  Guests will receive a glass of Cava on arrival, three course menu and special MFDF cocktail.


Friday 4th October

The MFDF Curry Collective with Bundobust, Dishoom, Lily’s and Sanskruti

7.30pm @ The Dining Dome, Festival Hub, Cathedral Gardens


Fancy joining the ultimate curry club for the night? Well MFDF invite 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.


As well as the Dining Dome events at the Hub, MFDF is pleased to announce a very special event is now on sale in partnership with the Manchester Art Gallery, the first of many collaborations to be announced and taking place across the city this Festival…


Saturday 5th October

The Art of Dining with Aiden Byrne at Manchester Art Gallery

7pm, Manchester Art Gallery


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 have 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. 

A magical opportunity to celebrate two of life’s greatest pleasures in one of the city’s most magnificent venues.  


Other MFDF Updates…


26TH Sept – 7TH Oct
Returning for its 4th year at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, the Bookatable Festival Feast is now bigger and better than ever before. There will be double the number of restaurants taking part in this delicious feast, offering limited edition, bespoke dining menus in association with Bookatable, one of its official sponsors. The menus will be on offer throughout the duration of MFDF, so get booking soon!

Find out more HERE



Manchester Cathedral

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 

Gorton Monastery 

7th October 


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…


Twitter: @MFDF19

Instagram: @MFDF2019

Facebook: @ManchesterFoodandDrinkFestival


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