There are a fair few gastronomic events taking place this year, but the biggest of the bunch is surely the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, which takes place in September to early October. It’s the event’s 20th year, and is set to be the biggest so far. Things will be going on throughout the city, but the hub will be at Albert Square, which the festival will take over for 11 days. Here, you will find a street food fair, chef’s demos, bars, pop-up events, and live entertainment. Among the special guests will be Ella Mills, the deli entrepreneur and creator of the popular blog Deliciously Ella. She will be hosting two ticketed banquets and hosting a Q&A/book signing. Also appearing is Simon Shaw, the head chef of El Gato Negro, who will be creating an authentic Spanish feast, featuring both modern and traditional favourites. The organisers are teaming up with MCR Beer Week to run events in bars and breweries across the city. The festival is a wee way off, but the tickets are already on sale for some individual events; we’ve picked five must-sees below. The festival culminates in the annual Manchester Food and Drink Awards. Have a look here and cast your vote.
1. Banquet: Hispi x The Unambombers at Mayfield Depot
Gary Usher’s (pictured) crowdfunded bistro Hispi teams up with Mcr’s favourite DJ duo, The Unabombers, who also run Volta and The Refuge for a special banquet-party in an abandoned railway station.
Thu 5 Oct, Mayfield Depot, 7.30pm £tbc, www.foodanddrinkfestival.com
2. Vegan banquet: Matt Nutter (The Allotment) at the Festival Hub in Albert Square
Ultra marathon runner and vegan chef, Matt Nutter is cooking up some of the most exciting and elegant food in the North West at his Stockport restaurant, The Allotment. This is a rare chance to sample his skills in Manchester city centre.
Thu 5 Oct, Festival Hub at Albert Square, 7.30pm, £45, www.foodanddrinkfestival.com
3. Big Indie Wine Fest at Manchester Hall
Manchester Hall – the former Masonic Lodge at the entrance to Spinningfields – serves up fine wines in world-class surrounds. Enjoy everything from Croatian to independent French wine, masterclasses from Reserve’s Kate Goodman, and much more.
Fri 6 & Sat 7 Oct, Manchester Hall, Fri: 6-9pm, Sat 2-5pm & 6-9pm, £15,
4. Kwoklyn Wan’s Chinese Soul Food demo & book signing at Festival Square
Gok Wan’s bro, Kwoklyn, showcases recipes from his new cookery book, Chinese Soul Food and signs copies. Sounds good to us.
Sat 7 Oct, Festival Hub at Albert Square, noon, FREE, www.foodanddrinkfestival.com
5. Thomasina Miers’ (Wahaca, Guardian) Mexican Day of the Dead Banquet at Mayfield Depot
Chef, Guardian food writer and founder of the Wahaca chain of restaurants, Thomasina Miers, is hosting a Mexican-themed Day of the Dead banquet at Mayfield Depot. Tickets are now on sale.
Sat 7 Oct, Mayfield Depot, 7.30pm, £55, manchesterfoodanddrinkfestival.nutickets.com
Thu 28 Sep – Mon 9 Oct, Albert Square, Manchester, M60 2LA, Tel: 0161 834 1779, 12pm til late, FREE entry (some events ticketed), foodanddrinkfestival.com
Published on: Thu 3 Aug 2017