MFDF: Launch

21 Sep

For a foodie, is there a more gluttonous or lusty an occasion than a food festival? Local producers, celebrity chef demonstrations and the occasional beer tent… What’s not to bust a gut over? Yet, whilst the traditional rendering of a festival will leave you amply satisfied, an urban food festival provides a whole new level of indulgence, with wine tastings, street food stalls, cook offs and restaurant events all at which to gorge, indefinitely proving you have eyes bigger than your belly and leave you craving broccoli for a month.*

As far as city offerings go, Manchester Food and Festival (MFDF) is one of the best. Rolling around at that time of year when the nights draw in, and people are in want of an opportunity to come together and lay down store for the winter, it’s perfectly positioned to provide. Constantly innovative in outlook too, drawing the best of the region’s foodie talent and getting bigger and better each year, now in its fifteenth year, this do promises to be a good one. So, as the official festival blogger, I have dedicated one dress size to the next fortnight in the name of eating myself silly and having a fabulous old time.**

Running from Friday 21st September to Monday 8th October 2012, there is a ridiculous 18 days worth of foodie fun to be had, the majority of which is listed in the festival brochure, though keep your eyes peeled for local restaurants and bars running special events in conjunction with MFDF. There’s plenty to see and do, with something to suit every taste bud and budget, but for me, I’m most excited about…

Independent Producers Fair (Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd September)

Sponsored by Booths, much loved retailer and champion of local food will be bringing a host of fabulous regional producers to the free to access festival hub down on Albert Square, with Booths cookery demonstrations and wine and beer master classes to boot.

Street Food (Friday 21st September – Sunday 07 October)

Over the course of the festival, the street food offering down at the festival hub will change on a regular basis, seeing scene stalwarts such as The Hungry Gecko and Ginger’s Confort Emporium rock up, plus special offerings from Almost Famous and 63 Degrees.

Fergus Henderson and Robert Owen Brown Long Table Banquet (Friday 28 September)

These two renowned chefs, of St John Bar and Restaurant and The Mark Addy fame, will be hosting an evening of ‘nose to tail’ eating down at the Festival Dining Hall on Albert Square. With wine included, the evening offers excellent value for just £40pp. Book here.

Proper Local Food Day (Friday 28th September)

A celebration of all things local, head down to the festival hub to see the best of Manchester’s producers, a hotly contested cook off between Robert Owen Brown and Andrew Nutter (of Nutters in Rochdale) and cooking demonstrations from Manchester favourites Aumbry and Sam’s Chop House.

Big Indie Cheese and Wine Fest (Saturday 29th September)

As a regular attendee at this event, this year’s addition of cheese makes the prospect of a day of sipping wines and talking cork more enticing than ever, especially at £11pp entry. Clear the rest of the day for lying around and hiccupping. Book here.

The Liquorists (Various)

Over the course of the festival, The Liquorists will be hosting a series of pop up bars and gastro nights, which following the success of their rum and other drink trails, promises to be booze fuelled and seriously good fun. Book here.

Oktoberfest (Friday 5th October – Sunday 7th October)

MFDF’s tribute to Munich’s Oktoberfest, award-winning beer brand Veltins will host the dedicated and free to access bierkeller, with Bavarian banqueting sessions taking place too down at the festival hub on Albert Square.

15th Birthday Party (Sunday 7th October)

A super sweet way to ease yourself out of festival mode, head down to Albert Square on the final Sunday for an afternoon of cake and party games. With all cake sale proceeds going to charity, it’s your chance for one final binge and some do-gooding too.  

The festival culminates with the MFDF Awards, where the most exciting hospitality ventures and personalities in Manchester are applauded for their efforts in evolving Manchester’s food and drink offering, and keeping the city an interesting and tasty place to eat. With hotly contended categories such as casual dining venue of the year, best restaurant of the year and the tremendously exciting food pioneers award, make sure you vote before the Monday 3rd October deadline to ensure your favourite places receive the recognition they deserve.


* In my case, at least.

** Some of these events I get to roll up to for free, but the majority of plans I have will be paid for out of my own pocket, and as always, you can expect a fair, hopefully coherently


One Response to “MFDF: Launch”

  1. Kat September 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Great review! Looking forward to attending the festival events.

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