Foodies rejoice! As the end of September rolls round, so does this year’s Manchester Food & Drink Festival. They’re promising a bumper programme for 2016, not just at their Albert Square hub, but all around the city, with a street food market, live music and special events. There’s some big events events including the intriguing-sounding Hidden Banquet series at the recently-refurbished London Road Fire Station, and a Spanish Trail covering all the best tapas restaurants Manchester has to offer, but for this we’ve sought out the best events that won’t break the bank, to bring you our top three free picks for this year’s festival.

MFDF Live Cookery Theatre
Throughout the festival, the main hub will be playing host to a series of talks and demonstrations from the best local chefs in their Live Cookery Theatre. This includes: Simon Shaw of local tapas favourite El Gato Negro, Lancastrian chef Bruno Birkbeck, Byron Moses of the Northern Quarter’s Evelyn’s, and Manchester House chef Aiden Byrne. It’s a great opportunity to get hands-on with some top culinary minds, and maybe pick up a few kitchen tips yourself.
Sat 1 Oct – Sat 8 Oct, Festival Hub, Albert Square, Manchester, M2 5DB. Various times,

Acoustic Amnesty
Part of the festival’s music programme, this afternoon show has been organised by Amnesty International to highlight some of the work they do addressing human rights abuses the world over. It features a bill full of acoustic acts playing original tracks as well as some covers. Confirmed on the bill so far is: Liam McClair, Mathew Gray, Hawker Reunion, Scott LLoyd, Nolan Watkinson and James Holt – many of whom can also be found performing extended solo sets throughout the festival.
Fri 7 Oct, Albert Square, M2 5DB. 12.30pm,

Great Manchester Bake Off Final (pictured)
This year’s Great British Bake Off has been mired in controversy, which has somewhat distracted from what the show’s supposed to be about: Baking. This Mancunian equivalent is a back-to-basics baking competition, attempting to find the North West’s top amateur baker. At this point the wheat has already been sorted from the chaff, and only the best bakers will presenting before a panel of judges. We can’t guarantee you’ll be able to land a free slice of cake, but it’ll definitely be a feast for all the other senses.
Sun 9 Oct, Albert Square, Manchester, M2 5DB. 2pm,

Thu 29 Sep – Mon 10 Oct, Manchester Food & Drink Festival 2016, Albert Square, Manchester, M2 5DB.

Thu 29 Sep - Mon 10 Oct
Jon Whiteley
Published on:
Tue 27 Sep 2016