Tag Archives: Manchester Food and Drink Festival

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.

Trove

Trove

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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Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2013 – Festival Hub and Highlights

30 Sep

Another year, another Manchester Food and Drink Festival and all the gut busting tucker and inebriating boozy joy it brings. Unlike 2012, I won’t be covering the whole festival as the ‘official blogger’ – I have neither the stamina or dress size to spare – but will be pootling along to a few of the events over the course of the two weeks, keeping my (greedy sausage) fingers on the pulse and providing you with piping hot tips on what to wrap your chops around.

Manchester Food and Drink Festival Hub

Manchester Food and Drink Festival Hub

Here’s a few of the highlights from the upcoming ongoing festival programme to look out for.*

Albert Square Festival Hub (Thursday 26 – Sunday 06 October)

Alright, alright, I’ve already been twice. Once on launch night, where I nibbled on wedges of freshly baked focaccia and sipped red wine from Bakerie, followed by a largely unexciting chicken tikka wrap from Zouk washed down with a marvellous tequila slushy from Apotheca. Both have set up shop alongside Robinson’s Brewery in the beer tent, making them ridiculously easy to locate.

Pulled Pork Tacos

Pulled Pork Tacos

The second time I hit the street food stands, I plumped for pulled pork tacos from Margo and Rita. Tiny, pretty little things, shockingly priced at £5, and a little too deconstructed and lacking in that big-hitting flavour you come to expect from Mexican food. The big purple van is cool though. The hot tip for the hub is to try out Mumma Schnitzel, who are only about until Tuesday 01 October, for intensely moreish chicken burgers.

Margo and Rita, Manchester

Margo and Rita, Manchester

The street food vendors switch over on Wednesday 02 October, bringing a few more Manchester favourites in the shape of Fire and Slice Pizza and Levanter Fine Foods. It’s here that the likes of La Tasca and Chaopraya move on, who in taking space are using up the opportunity to showcase some of the city’s more creative and independent food outfits.

Bigger brands are a big feature of this year’s festival unfortunately, presumably in the name of making rent. The Famous Grouse has taken up the centre of the square to sample new product, Ginger Grouse, and Arm and Hammer are bizarrely handing out tubes of toothpaste?!  Sorely missed are the quality producers from in and around the region, of which there is only a light smattering currently, but this should be rectified when Booths rock up Friday 04 October with their Indie Producers Fair.

Ginger Grouse

Ginger Grouse

Much like super heroes, local chefs and food aficionados saved the day weekend through running a series of master classes; Mary-Ellen McTague of Great British Menu fame taught simple shellfish techniques, and the legendary Harry Yeung of Yang Sing did dumplings. Much more the thing.

The Liquor Market (Saturday 05 October)

Last year, I attended the Big Indie Wine Fair – back then it was ripe with cheese producers and fine food delis too – and whilst doing its thing again this coming Saturday 05 – Sunday 06 October, my money would be on the Liquor Market being this year’s big success. Hosted at the newly opened Rosylee Tea Rooms with Dave Marsland, the Drinks Enthusiast, guests get to sample a host of boutique spirits including G’Vine Gins and Excellia Tequila, all for just £7.

Book Here: http://liquormarketmfdf.eventbrite.com

Chinatown Revealed Tour (Saturday 05 – Sunday 06 October)

Sadly, I’m away for the weekend, luxuriating in the glorious beauty of the Lake District and eating ALL the bread and cheese in Cartmel, but were I not, I’d be hot-footing it round China Town with Manchester Confidential head honcho, Jonathon Scholfield, who’ll be taking tours groups around one of Manchester’s most distinctive areas, discussing the history and providing the opportunity to sample some of the food along the way.

Book Here: http://www.yang-sing.com

Other Highlights

Hanging Ditch – The Unites States of Ditch (Tuesday 01 October)

Trove – Seasonal Eatings (Wednesday 02 October)

Grenache – Special Festival Menu (All Festival Long)

* Always late to the party. Shame really. You always miss the canapés.