Manchester Food & Drink Festival takes place around Manchester between Thursday 10 and Monday 21 September. This is the 18th edition of the city-wide festival and Festival Hub on Albert Square is home to chef demos, a huge, and wide-ranging beer bar, as well as live demo spaces, a Chilli and Tequila festival (featuring Wahaca’s Thomasina Miers) and much more. To help you make the most of what’s on, here’s our pick of 2015’s bumper crop: –

1. The Biospheric Mushroom Farm
A lasting legacy of the Manchester International Festival, the Biospheric Studio is an innovative start-up who specialise in crossing the boundaries between technology and biology. They’ve got an actual mint farm in the new ‘Study’ floor of Manchester Museum which opens on Friday (11 Sep – see our preview), while for Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2015 they are presenting a mushroom farm. Visitors to Albert Square can take an informative tour, as well as meeting members of the Biospheric Studio to find out more about their bio-plans for Manchester.
Thu 10 – Sun 20 Sep, Festival Hub, Albert Square, Manchester M2 5DB, times vary, free.

2. Chilli and Tequila Festival
Guardian food writer, Wahaca founder and author of Chilli Notes, Thomasina Miers (pictured), is appearing live at this free event (6.30pm) as chilli growers from around the UK showcase their wares alongside leading tequila brands. Stalls of note include Bongo’s Rock & Roll Chilli Pickles, Wiga Wagaa Chillis, Dormouse Chocolates chilli chocolates among others. Back in the live demo theatre, guests include include The Spice Club supper club founder, Monica Sawhney (1pm) and Masterchef 2011 winner and Hungry Gecko founder, Jackie Kearney, who will be talking about her new book, Vegan Street Food at 2.30pm.
Fri 11 Sep, Festival Hub, Albert Square, Manchester M2 5DB, 10am-9pm, Free.

3. The Great Manchester Bake Off
Baking-mad Manchester residents are taking part in the Great Manchester Bake-Off on Sunday (13 Sep) which is being judged by real life Great British Bake Off runner up , Richard Burr. Fans will remember Richard as the technically excellent baker, who had a pencil behind his ear and was builder in real life. Candidates have already been selected (there was an open public call for this one) and it looks set to be a good show if the ‘show-stopper’ category is any indication. Local bakers have to riff on a ‘Made in Manchester’ theme, and this category could include Eccles Cake, Manchester Tart or bakes inspired by the city’s architecture. We think that the Filing Cabinet and Central Library would be ideal candidates.
Sun 13 Sep, Festival Hub, Albert Square, Manchester M2 5DB, noon, free

4. Win tickets to the Indie Wine Fest and Robert Owner Brown’s Bio-Historical Banquet
Click on the following links to win tickets to the Big Indie Wine Fest  at Manchester Town Hall this weekend (Fri 11 & Sat 12 Sep) and Robert Owen Brown’s Bio-Historical Banquet on Saturday (12 Sep) at Manchester Museum in the dinosaur hall (rrahhh).

Thu 10 Sep – Mon 21 Sep, Manchester Food and Drink Festival, various times and prices,

Thu 10 Sep - Mon 21 Sep
Ruth Allan
Published on:
Tue 15 Sep 2015