TICKETS are selling fast for Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2019’s headline events at its new hub in Cathedral Gardens – a series of one-off dinners and collabs that showcase the city’s terrific chefs. None more high profile at the moment than Adam Reid, triumphing again on BBC2’s Great British Menu. You can eat his winning chicken main, ‘Comfort Food Sounds Good’ as he hot a special community feast in the Dining Dome on Wednesday, October 2.
There’s something special happening there the day before from a less high profile name (though a prodigious talent) when Fazenda exec chef Francisco Martinez (above) serves eight courses celebrating the cultural diversity of the brand’s roots in Argentine and Brazilian cuisines, all proceeds going to Action Against Hunger.
Add in some Iberican inspiration from Simon Shaw (El Gato Negro and Canto) and Paco Perez (Tast Catala), a collaboration between four of our finest Indian restaurants and a big welcome to the city’s news arrival from London, Bistrotheque and you can see how, in its 22nd year, MFDF is going from strength to strength…
THE DINING DOME EVENTS AT CATHEDRAL GARDENS
Thursday, September 26 – Bistrotheque Classique
One of Manchester’s most anticipated 2019 arrivals, Bistrotheque, has made its name in East London through great, uncomplicated food, drink and service delivered with good taste and a dollop of fun. Expect extra helpings of all this when Chef Director Blaine Duffy creates this special MFDF menu, including arrival cocktails, three courses, a quality wine pairing and digestif. From mid-summer Bistrotheque proper will occupy the ground floor of the redeveloped Ducie Street Warehouse alongside Piccadilly Station. Tickets £45, available here.
Friday, September 27 – An Evening with Simon Shaw
One of Manchester’s most respected chefs hosts a specially curated collection of the most exquisite dishes from his brands El Gato Negro and Canto. Guests will be taken on an intimate culinary journey, inspired by Simon’s love of travel with Spanish and Portuguese influences to the fore. Each course will be paired with a specially selected wine and tickets also include a drinks reception. Tickets £55, availablehere.
Tuesday, October 1 – Roots and Future: A Tasting Menu by Francisco Martinez of Fazenda Group in Aid of Action Against Hunger
Executive Chef Fran Martinez will return to The Dome (after a sell-out extravaganza last year) with an exclusive eight-course tasting menu, which celebrates the cultural diversity of Fazenda's roots in Argentine and Brazilian cuisines. Paired with glorious South American wines and cocktails, each dish in this gastronomic odyssey fuses tradition with innovation – witness his Wagyu Tartare above. All proceeds from the evening will be donated to Fazenda's group charity, Action Against Hunger. Tickets £50, available here.
Chef at MFDF’s 2018 Restaurant of the Year, The French, and star of BBC2’s Great British Menu, Adam Reid creates the ultimate communal festival feast, all inspired by his GBM dish ‘Comfort Food ‘Sounds’ Good’. Adam will depart from his signature fine-dining style to host an evening of laid-back social eating and great British music – his twin refuge when things get tough. The dish is based on his Grandad’s recipe – the ultimate ‘hug in a bowl’. Also on the menu is his version of chicken stew, employing crowns of Organic Rhug Estate Chicken – alongside a soundtrack ranging from The Beatles to Oasis and the Arctic Monkeys. Specially curated cocktails add to the communal harmony. Tickets £35, availablehere.
Thursday, October 3 – An Evening with Paco Perez and Tast Catala
Catalan maestros Tast host a three-course dinner designed, cooked and served by Tast’s Head Chef Miquel Villacrosa and the Michelin-starred Spanish cooking giant, Paco Perez. Paco is Tast’s world famous Executive Chef. Based in Barcelona, he is flying in especially for the Manchester Food and Drink Festival and curating a more casual Tast dining occasion allowing guests to experience their acclaimed cuisine, cooked by the main man himself, in an extraordinary setting. Paco promises wonderful dishes inspired by the beautiful Catalan landscape: the sea and the mountains, the countryside and the cities. Guests will receive a glass of Cava on arrival, three course menu and special MFDF cocktail. Tickets £45, availablehere.
Friday, October 4 – The MFDF Curry Collective with Bundobust, Dishoom, Lily’s and Sanskruti
This ultimate ‘curry club’ night kicks off with Gujarat-influenced snacks with a matched flight of beers from the mighty Bundobust after an arrival cocktail created by their Piccadilly team. Next up the Bombay diner of your dreams, Dishoom, will serve the special they created for their Manchester arrival, Nalli Nihari Biryani (lamb shank rice dish in a pie, above). Two more incredible courses will come from two of our finest independent, suburban eateries – Lily’s in Ashton-under-Lyne and Sanskruti in Withington. Tickets £40, available here.
What else is on at the new Cathedral Gardens Hub? Some seriously refreshing changes.
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