The Full Programme For Manchester Food And Drink Festival Has Been Announced

Laura O'Neill Laura O'Neill

The Full Programme For Manchester Food And Drink Festival Has Been Announced

The full events programme for Manchester Food And Drink Festival Has been revealed, and it’s a whopper!

Inside The Hub

Described as the nation’s biggest food party, visitors to Manchester’s Albert Square this year can expect a newly designed site and live experiences alongside the biggest programme of events yet, all taking place in the new Festival Hub in the shadow of the Town Hall.

For its 21 st edition, festival organisers promise a new chapter for the Festival, with a jam-packed programme of events that food fans from all over the country will love. Featuring foodie stars like Jack Monroe, Jasmine Hemsley, Simon Woods, a bounty of banquets in the new Dining Domes, tonnes of events around the city, food walks, mushroom hunting, talks, beers, wine, ciders, live music, the gala dinner and awards and lots more!


But more than ever, it’s about enjoying the very best of Manchester’s extraordinary food and drink talent and celebrating the city’s iconic status, whilst also ensuring that the country’s most exciting foodies descend on the city.

The free entry Festival Hub on Albert Square will open at 12 noon on September 27 and will close at 11pm on October 7. Open daily from 12.00pm-11.00pm. And as promised by the MFDF team, it will be refreshed, redesigned and the location for the biggest Festival feast yet.

There’ll also be an exquisite programme of events and happenings all over Manchester featuring collaborations with a huge breadth of the city’s most talented foodies – from beer brewers to ice cream makers, from chefs to gin distillers.


27th September – 7th October
Albert Square
12pm-11pm Daily


The incredible Dining Dome at the Hub will be the location for two fabulous Saturdays of live cookery demonstrations and masterclasses as the MFDF presents two days devoted to learning from the best and brightest culinary stars in the country.

Live Cookery Theatre
Saturday 29th September
Dining Dome
Live cookery demos from some of the most exciting chefs around…

Joudie Kalla: 1pm

Leith’s School of Food and Wine trained Joudie Kalla has been a chef for over 16 years at restaurants such as Gordon Ramsay’s Pengelley’s, Daphne’s and Papillon and latterly an acclaimed supper club host. She will be signing copies of her new book, Baladi, which roughly translates from Arabic as ‘My Country’. The book takes the reader on a journey through Palestinian food and culture. The recipes are veggie and vegan friendly but cater to every palate – influenced by the diversity of food from the fields, markets, orchards and sea.

Simon Wood: 2.15pm

Over the past year, WOOD Manchester, the eponymous First Street restaurant of 2015 Masterchef winner Simon, has made quite a stir, culminating in it making the shortlist for Best Newcomer in the 2018 Manchester Food and Drink Awards. His debut cookbook ‘At Home with Simon Wood – Fine Dining Made Simple’ is out now and Simon will be demoing recipes from this and his restaurant.

Jack Monroe: 3.30pm

Photo: mfdf2018

Jack Monroe was awarded the 2013 Fortnum and Mason Judges’ Choice Award for the impact her blog, A Girl Called Jack, has made. She is now a well-known campaigner against hunger and poverty in the UK. She is author of bestselling cookbooks ‘A Girl Called Jack and A Year in 120 Recipes’. Her budget-conscious, vegan-led recipes are instantly available on her website cookingonabootsrap.com and in her new book “Cooking on A Bootstrap’.  She will demonstrating recipes from the book and will be signing copies too.

Saturday Skills Kitchen
6th October
Dining Dome

A chance to learn from the best with hands-on masterclasses that hone in on specific kitchen skills…

1pm Woodall’s Charcuterie Masterclass with Dave Critchley

Enjoy a real treat from the North West as Living Ventures senior operations chef Dave Critchley joins forces with Colin Woodall of award-winning Woodall’s Charcuterie to demonstrate the delicious versatility of their range.

2pm Fermenting Masterclass with Julia Goddard and Emma Thackray

Fancy making your own Kimichi, sauerkraut or kombucha? Julia Goddard from Altrincham Market’s Plucky Pickle and Emma Thackray from Booch and Brine will show you how.

3pm An introduction to Tuna with Omar Rodriguez

Chef Omar Rodriguez of Umezushi will be sharing his experience and knowledge about one of the most sought-after sushi ingredients.

4pm Make Fresh Curds and Bread with Mary-Ellen McTague and Chris Cahill of The Creameries

Chef Mary-Ellen McTague of new Chorlton venue The Creameries ( and ex of Aumbry and Fat Duck) shows how easy it is to make your own curds at home, whilst Creameries head baker, Chris Cahill, demonstrates the art of creating bread from scratch.

A great big spherical foodie palace – the Dining Dome will be the location for a feast of specially curated banquets, supper clubs and food parties

‘Battle Royale’ Secret Supper Club from Cottonopolis
Thursday 27th September & Friday 28th September

 This spectacular two-night MFDF supper club to be the Cottonopolis’ most ambitious yet with the Dining Dome transformed by their visual architects into a specially curated dining production of Battle Royale. Based around the Japanese cult film Battle Royale, released in 2000 and a precursor to Hunger Games, it’s billed as ’80 contestants, six courses, one survivor’. Expect head chef Joe Grant’s food to be equally spectacular. Tickets include a glass of prosecco on arrival followed by six courses.

Get tickets here.

Jasmine Hemsley & Trove Supper Club
29th September

Well-being goddess, lifestyle guru, insta-influencer extraordinaire, founder of Hemsley + Hemsley and author of East by West, Jasmine Hemsley, is coming to Manchester Food and Drink Festival for a special collaboration with MFDF and the award-winning artisans of Trove. A match made in heaven, Trove’s focus on making food from scratch by hand and with a central focus on organic ingredients and locally sourced produce will meet Jasmine’s home-cooked and mindful approach to create an Ayurvedic menu inspired by Jasmine’s latest book East by West. Trove’s natural wine collection will be available on the evening too. Each guest will be given a copy of East by West to take home with them.

Get tickets here.

Family Food Fest
Sunday 30th September
Join MFDF, Inspiral Carpets legend Clint Boon and friends, as the Dining Dome and the whole Festival Hub goes extra family friendly for a Sunday Fun-Day! The Dining Dome will be given over to foodie fun for mini masterchefs – from pizza making to arts, crafts and entertainment – whilst the whole site will be even more family centred than ever. A chilled-out family friendly disco courtesy of Manchester legend Clint Boon will take over the bar marquee and other child-friendly hands-on activity will be scattered across the whole site meaning that parents can enjoy all the fun of the Fest while the kids are entertained too. This is the perfect weekend for parents who love festivals and food!

The Rabbit & Seven Bro7hers: Fine Dining and Beer
1st October

The Rabbit head chef John Granaghan has joined forces with Seven Bro7hers Brewery to bring his Asian inspired fine dining experience to the MFDF dome. The evening will be a unique opportunity to experience an exclusive pairing menu curated especially for the night – The Rabbit’s intense flavours, combined with Seven Bro7hers Brewery’s expertly brewed hops.

Get tickets here.

Caviar & Champagne Tasting with Randall & Aubin
2nd October

Bridge Street’s fabulous Randall and Aubin team up with The Gourmet Caviar House to present a rare gastro opportunity. Guests will be given a glass of Randall & Aubin’s house Champagne and then will have an opportunity to sample a range of the most exquisite caviars around.

Get tickets here.

Hatch Pop Up Supper Club
4th October

Photo: mfdf2018

Hatch, the new pop-up food, drink and retail destination on Oxford Road and a selection of its fantastic street food traders past and present will be taking over the Dining Dome for the evening and staging a special Hatch Supper Club. The menu will include courses by indie icons Well Hung Firebird Hope, Wok’s Cluckin and T’arricrii.  Each course will be paired with beers from Öl – Hatch’s on site nano brewery or natural wines from Love and Labour.

Get tickets here.

Spanish Feast by
Lunya, Baratxuri, Evuna and Porta
5th October

The city’s spectacular Spanish restaurant scene is celebrated by this extraordinary food fiesta as three of its finest collaborate to showcase the country’s regional cuisines – from Catalunya to Basque country and beyond – Barton Arcade Catalan deli/eaterie Lunya, Ramsbottom’s Basque pintxos experts Baratxuri, Evuna, Spanish wine and food specialists and MFDF award nominees Porta.

Get tickets here.

Fiona Beckett – Six Wines That Shaped My Career
Saturday 6th October

A treat for all wine lovers. Fiona Beckett is an award-winning food and drink journalist, author and web publisher with over 25 year’s experience of writing for the UK’s top newspapers and magazines. She is currently wine columnist for The Guardian and National Geographic Travel Food magazine and restaurant critic for Decanter, while publishing her own website which helps you find the perfect pairing for your favourite dishes.

Get tickets here.

‘Clean Plate’ – Vegan Beers and Bites with Brooklyn Brewery
Sunday 7th October

Cult beers, fabulous street food and comedy. New York’s Brooklyn Brewery has led the field in highlighting how the food and drink industry can decrease its environmental impact. On the night Bundobust and Wholesome junkies will be amongst those providing delicious, ethically sourced vegan produce, whilst comedian Fat Roland will be entertaining the crowd and Brooklyn beers will flow.

Tickets include 3 courses, a range of Brooklyn Beers and an evening’s entertainment with Electronic music writer/spoken word stand-up /professional droog FatRoland!

All proceeds will go to Festival Charity, Action Against Hunger.
Get tickets here.



Live Music – City Life Stage at the Hub

Across the 11 days of the Hub, you will be able to tune in, dance or just chill-out, to an eclectic mix of amazing artists, kicking off with Mr Wilson’s Second Liners Thursday 27th  September, and culminating on the evening of Sunday 7th October with I Am Kloot’s John Bramwell playing a greatest hits set!

Highlights include…

  • Thursday 27th September: Mr Wilson’s Second Liners
  • Saturday 29th September: Covertones
  • Sunday 30th September: Clint Boon
  • Monday 1st October: XS Manchester takeover
  • Wednesday 3rd October: Albert Schloss
  • Thursday 4th October: City Life takeover
  • Friday 5th October: The Cassettes
  • Saturday 6th October: Whoever & The Somethings
  • Sunday 7th October: I Am Kloot legend John Bramwell and special guest Dave Fidler

Booze! All the Festival Bars are open between 12pm – 11pm daily throughout the Festival:

Double Dutch G&T bar 

by mfdf2018

Created by Dutch twin sisters Joyce and Raissa de Haas, Double Dutch’s range of innovative products are developed using flavour pairing techniques to create uniquely-balanced drinks. They use only natural ingredients blended with the highest quality water from the North of England to create crisp and fresh mixers for refined palates. Plus, the bar will also be serving the more classic variations as well as some hearty ‘Dark and Stormys’ for the rum fans.

Manchester Brew Fest:

Celebrating the region’s beer boom, The Hub offers a range of ales from the furthest flung corners of Greater Manchester and beyond. Check out Brightside brewery, Hophurst, Irwell Works, Seven Bro7hers and Manchester Brewing Company alongside many more.

MFDF Cider Fest

The Festival’s own little cider haven, the MFDF Cider Bar will be pitching up again to bring refreshing ciders to the proceedings. There’ll also be a range of delicious flavoured ciders including lemon and lime, mango and apple and pear.

The Brooklyn Brewery Bus

Brooklyn Brewery will be bringing a brand new double decker bar bus to the Hub serving up a range of brews from their Perennials and Seasonal ranges– the perfect seasonal accompaniment to MFDF’s Autumn celebration.

Vin Van Voom Wine Bar

Vin Van Voom’s 50s style silver van has long been a Festival Hub magnet for wine lovers. Now there’s a reclaimed bar and new under covering seating. Expect a few surprises among the wines on offer, too. Look out for a fantastic, changing selection of boutique wines from Catteratto to Chablis, Malbec to Montepulciano.

Street Food

This year’s Festival is ALL about the street food too! MFDF promise a completely revitalised line up of the best street food that Manchester and the UK has to offer, mixed in with some of the city’s best restaurant brands, all serving your lunch and dinner for 11 fabulous days. Confirmed so far are the award-winning Bundobust, Baratxuri,  Cottonopolis, Proove and Manchester noodle icons, Tampopo.



Bookatable Festival Feast
27th September – 8th October

As the exclusive booking partner of Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2018, Bookatable helps Festival-goers to discover and book the city’s best restaurants. Whether a seasoned Manchester foodie looking to return to a favourite restaurant or a dining-out newbie on the hunt for an amazing-value experience, there’s a special MFDF menu for everyone.

Book here.

Asha’s Goes Vegan
Thursday 27th September

Chef Ashwani and Asha’s executive chef Bobby Geetha have created a unique vegan menu for the Festival. Five courses featuring the freshest, natural flavours, each paired with Seedlip’s alcohol-free cocktails.

Book here.

MFDF Gin Festival at Upper Campfield Market
Upper Campfield Market
Friday 28th & Saturday 29th September

Photo: mfdf2018

The iconic former Victorian market hall plays host to this sophisticated celebration of Britain’s favourite spirit in collaboration with the Gin Lounge. Three days of sampling from dozens of enticing brands plus entry to gin masterclasses and workshops, hosted by master distillers. Gin brands participating include Bathtub Gin, Arbikie Gin, Brighton Gin, Boutique-y-Gin, Cotswolds Gin, Didsbury Gin, Kukoro Gin, Lakes Distillery, Manchester Gin and Tarsier Spirits.

Get tickets here.

Extraordinary Experiences by The Loft
The Loft
Friday 28th – Sunday 30th September & Thursday 4th – Sunday 7th October

Come and join us at The Loft Manchester for some exciting, amazing, immersive drink experiences designed to test your pallet, wine knowledge and/or your cocktail making skills: Craft Your Own Whisky with Chivas Regal – Learn how to blend a bespoke 200ml bottle of whisky:
Shake it up with a Kahlua Cocktail Masterclass-  Be the friend that makes that killer Espresso Martini
The Campo Viejo Light Sensory Experience – an evening designed to stimulate even your sixth sense.

Get tickets here.

Fungi Foray with Jesper Launder
Friday 28th September
Redisher Woods

This fun activity will be held in Redisher Woods, Holcombe Brook, BL8, a couple of miles north of Bury.

Book here.

Manchester Shares – Small Plates Safari
Various venues.
Sunday 30th September – Thursday 4th October

£5 for a small plate and drink

Foodies are challenged to try out as many Manchester restaurants as they can during the Festival as dozens of the finest restaurants in the city offer up a signature small plate along with a beer, wine or spirit for just £5. Anyone visiting all the restaurants on the safari will be in with a chance of winning an overnight stay at one of Manchester’s finest hotels. Participating restaurants are include: Automatic Cafe, Harvey Nichols, HOME, Iberica, Tapeo, The Clarence, The Grill On The Alley, Opium Lounge, All Star Lanes, Platzki, Banyan, Cosy Club, Pho, Alston Bar & Beef, Almost Famous, Home Sweet Home, Luck Lust Liquor & Burn, Lunya, Grafene, Proove, and Beastro, Gino D’Acampo.


Terrazas Wine Masterclass at Fazenda
Tuesday 2nd October

Harnessing their roots and fervour for fine wines, Fazenda present a taste of their Argentine homeland. Guests will embark on a journey of discovery of the rich terroirs in the  Andean foothills and learn about the vineyard heritage in the heart of Mendoza while indulging in the full rodizio meat experience in the luxurious private dining room. There are only 14 places available and ticket price is inclusive of all wines and food.

To book email manchester@fazenda.co.uk

Tampopo’s Taste Tour of Thailand
Tampopo Albert Square
Wednesday 3rd October

The city’s original indie explorers of East Asian cuisine showcase what makes Thai food such a popular option. Also at Tampopo Trafford Centre on Wed, Oct 3 and Tampopo Corn Exchange on Sun, Oct 7.

Book Trafford Centre tickets here.
Book Albert Square tickets here.
Book Corn Exchange tickets here.

Cheese Tasting
Wednesday 3rd October

Join this Catalan inspired deli for a fabulously relaxed evening of all things cheese.

Lunya Manchester, Barton Arcade, Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2BB. 6.30pm-8.30pm.

Book here.

Taste The Love Charity Pop-up Supper Club
Thursday 4th October

Event caterers Taste the Love are teaming up with Action Against Hunger’s ‘Love Food Give Food’ campaign to host a charity pop-up supper club. By supporting “Love Food Give Food” you help to save the lives of malnourished children around the world and ensure their families have access to nutritious food.

Action Against Hunger’s Moveable Feast
Various venues
Thursday 4th October
Festival partner charity, Action Against Hunger and MFDF bring you the opportunity to access the exclusive private spaces of a range of amazing restaurants and the cuisine of their renowned chefs, all on one special evening of fine food in the name of a great cause.

Diners will be taken on the ultimate food adventure, enjoying a course at each restaurant of a specially designed MFDF menu, with only 15 places at each location food fans are advised to snap up these tickets fast!

All money raised will go directly to support Action Against Hunger’s work ending child hunger in over 45 countries around the world.

Get tickets here.

Taste the City – A Manchester Food Tour in support of Foodinate
Thursday 4th October
Various Venues

Sample some of the best food and drink the Manchester has to offer All proceeds from this walk go to the Foodinate charity,   The tour Starts in Northern Quarter, exact location revealed upon booking.

Get tickets here. 

The 11th Big Indie Wine Fest
Manchester Hall
Friday 5th, Saturday  6th & Sunday 7th October

After a fabulous debut in Manchester Hall’s grand, Grade II listed surrounds last year, Festival favourite, the Big Indie Wine Fest will be returning to the venue for an extra special, bigger-than-ever event with an extra session added for a three-day extravaganza! As ever Manchester’s finest independent wine merchants along with some from further afield will create a heavenly wine experience. Expect a stunning breadth of wines from around the globe from merchants like Commanderie Bordeaux, Cordonniu, Veeno, Iberica, Carrington’s and Off Piste Wines.

Friday 5th: 6pm – 9m
Saturday 6th: 2pm – 5pm
Saturday 6th: 6pm – 9pm
Sunday 7th: 2pm – 5pm

Get tickets here.

Full Moon Party
East Street
Friday 5th October

This new grab and go sibling of Tampopo in the heart of the city is hosting an evening of sheer lunacy, inspired by the epic parties of Thailand. The ticket price includes a welcome drink and unlimited wings.

East Street, Unit 1, The Pavilion, One Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester M1 1RG.

Get tickets here.

Catalan Wine and Cheese Tasting at Tast
Tast Catala
Sunday 7th October


A journey through Catalonia’s most unique flavours. Tast Cuina Catalana by Chef Paco Pérez will be hosting a Wine and Cheese Tasting accompanied by Catalan Tomato Bread. Their Advanced Sommelier will lead you through a selection of three carefully curated Catalan wines paired with three wonderful Catalan cheeses and their traditional bread with tomato, a secret recipe developed by Executive Chef Paco Pérez in collaboration with Triticum, an artisan bakery from Barcelona.

For more information and to book email hola@tastcatala.com

MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards
Gorton Monastery
8th October

The sparkling culmination of MFDF, the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Gala Dinner and Awards will be taking place for the very first time in 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’. Get tickets here.



Also published on Medium.

Tags: Festivals
Top News