Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2013 – Seasons Eating Supper Club and Final Festivities

5 Oct

Cue mass devastation and weeping, people. Manchester Food and Drink Festival is ready to wrap up for another year, and Albert Square will become a desolate wasteland, sadly devoid of the food, booze and live music we have become accustomed to of late. I’ll soon be back to scouring street food festivals to get my Chaat Cart dosa fix, and bumming around the glut of beer festivals across the North West for the next few months, but until then (and the Manchester Christmas markets, of course) there’s always the memories…

Seasons Eatings Autumn Supperclub at Trove (Wednesday 02 October)

Every year, without fail, the festival gifts me something new. A Manchester venue I’ve never visited before, a cider producer I wasn’t aware existed or a type of street food which becomes an on-going obsession. This year has proved no different, and quite frankly, come up trumps. Scouting the listings early October, I clocked Trove would be hosting an autumn supper club, and having never visited this highly recommended bread haven before, put it top of my festival have-to list.



Autumn Supperclub Menu

Autumn Supperclub Menu

They’ve teamed up with Seasons Eatings – two highly talented lady chefs who met at uni and currently hail from the kitchens at Trove and Damson Heaton Moor – to bring the lovely people of Levenshulme and Manchester a monthly feast chock full of seasonal inspiration. This being only the second supper club to date, I’m glad I caught them early, as once word gets out about their affinity for classical flavour pairings, eloquently presented and delivered with a lightness of touch, it will be much harder to get a seat at the table. This is not your standard ‘supper club’ experience.

Roast Guinea Fowl, Celeriac, Apple. Chestnuts

Roast Guinea Fowl, Celeriac, Apple. Chestnuts

Caramelised Fig, Goat's Cheese Ice Cream, Chocolate

Caramelised Fig, Goat’s Cheese Ice Cream, Chocolate

The two standout dishes were the guinea fowl main and chocolate dessert. Tender, earthy white meat topped with a crisp, salty skin and rich, breaded confit guinea fowl balls – masquerading as the menu-promised chestnuts which peppered the rest of the dish – were naturally paired with soft apple thins, parsnip crisps and smeared celeriac puree with a rich, gamey gravy. Perfectly pitched, plates naturally cleared quickly to make way for the caramelised fig, mild tang of goat’s cheese ice cream and salted chocolate ganache served with an elegant edible viola flower. It silenced the room.

Scallop, Radish, Seaweed, Citrus Granita

Scallop, Radish, Seaweed, Citrus Granita

Marshmallow Tree

Marshmallow Tree

Edible herbs and flowers were a feature of the evening, with the scallop starter being served with an oyster flower, which upon eating overwhelmed all the other flavours (in an exciting, non-dish ruining kind of way). Thinly sliced, raw scallop topped with a sharp, sweet lemon granita, it was on occasion difficult to taste the freshness of the seafood, but the textures of the dish, along with the bursts of colour brought by the accompanying slices of radish, made for the most beautiful dish I’ve ever seen. More fun came in the form of apple floss and a coconut, gingerbread and vanilla marshmallow tree.

Otherwise renowned for the breakfasts, organic and florally adorned loaves and top notch pizzas, I’ll be back to try Trove’s day to day offering, though I have my eye on the Christmas do from Seasons Eating. It’ll give me something to look forward to now the festival’s all but gone… Although it’s not quite over yet though folks. Here are a few of the festival’s final hurrahs!

Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards (Monday 07 October)

Did you vote? The survey closed earlier this week, but this coming Monday night will see the glitzy gala dinner and awards ceremony take place at Manchester Town Hall. With the eagerly anticipated restaurant of year award to announce (The French are in the offing for the prize) and hotly contested newcomer prize being fought out between Solita, Luck Lust Liquor and Burn and Artisan (to name a few) it promises to be an interesting night. Keep your eye on the @MFDF13 Twitter feed for live updates.

The Whisky Festival (Saturday 12th October)

Should parting ways with the festival prove difficult, The Whisky Lounge is hosting their fifth annual Whisky Festival down at Bridgewater Hall. Last year, in the name of furthering my food and drink education, (cough), I doused myself in craft beer at Indy Man Beer Con, and now considerably more learned in the art of pint drinking, plan to humbly dedicate myself to the dram. With beginner’s workshops, expert master classes and tastings included within the price (£30 for a full day), the lesson starts here.

So, did you enjoy the festival? What were your highlights, and is there anything you’d like to see more or less of next year?


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