• Tom Kerridge latest star addition as MFDF 2019 confirm their full line-up

Tom Kerridge latest star addition as MFDF 2019 confirm their full line-up

4 September 2019 by Neil Sowerby

THE final line-up for the Manchester Food and Drink Festival (Sep 26-Oct 7) has been revealed. Featuring a fantastic array of talent from all aspects of the city’s wider food and drink industry, it’s set to be one of the most dynamic yet.  

As a Festival finale acclaimed chef and telly royalty Tom Kerridge will be producing a taste of things to come from his hotly anticipated Manchester restaurant within Stock Exchange Hotel, due to open in November. He recently told us his plans

His MFDF Dining Dome debut in Cathedral Gardens on Sunday, October 6, comprises a special four-course Sunday lunch style meal with specially paired drinks for the occasion. And as a special bonus he’ll be creating the meal for two sittings. 

Tom holds two Michelin stars at The Hand & Flowers, and one Michelin star at The Coach in Marlow, Bucks, where he has forged a formidable reputation for his quality take on pub grub, using immaculately sourced fresh produce. This Sunday lunch treat is sure to be a hot ticket.

The Festival also includes a plant-based evening with John Robb, Shaun Ryder and Bundobust and, newly announced, a Best in Town Dinner in aid of Action Against Hunger,  featuring all six of the MFDF 2019 Chef of the Year nominees, among an amazing selection of events to suit all palates. 

The new Festival Hub location on Cathedral Gardens will bring a new focus and dynamic to the celebrations. This historic area of Manchester city centre will be home to the Dining Dome, the futuristic, igloo-shaped venue which made its first appearance last year. 

Open from 12 noon until 11pm every day of the Festival, it’s completely free and will be home to the amazing choice of street food and drink. And on Sunday, September 29 all the traders will be serving vegan and vegetarian food only as part of MFDF Vegan Takeover at the Hub. The Festival also includes the live cookery theatre, banquets, masterclasses and a Saturday Skills Kitchen, The City Life Stage at The Hub and a mouthwatering Rum Decadence event.  

Note, as the Festival  Brochure hits the street, there’s already a number of sold out events for some of the most sought-after tickets including: An Evening with Simon Shaw, MFDF Curry Collective with Bundobust, Dishoom, Lily’s and Sanskruti, Comfort Food 'Sounds' Good with Adam Reid, The Art of Dining with Aiden Byrne at Manchester Art Gallery,   Roots and Future: A Tasting Menu by Francisco Martinez

Gorton Monastery will be home for the second time to the prestigious MFDF Awards. The enviable shortlist for each category showcases the talent that is operating across the Greater Manchester area. There’s still time to cast your vote; follow this link

Sustainability is a major Festival target

The Festival is pledging to stage the most sustainable event yet, following last year’s successful change from plastic cups to a deposit scheme at the gigantic beer bar. They estimate this reduced overall waste at the event by 40 per cent. Having moved to compostable and recyclable food containers a few years ago and now tackling the single use plastic cup issue, in 2019 MFDF aim to create the most sustainable food festival in the UK with more innovative solutions such as reward schemes for use of reusable vessels. Here’s what it’s all about citywide – Had your refill yet? 

New partners for 2019 include Roomzzz Aparthotels, the official festival accommodation partner, Montann Wines, who will be showcasing English wines at the Hub and JJ Whitley, whose Cocktail Garden is also located at the Hub. 

Festival Founding Director Phil Jones told us:  “The move to Cathedral Gardens for the Hub gives the entire Festival a new focus and we are delighted that we are being joined by a fine selection of food and drink pop ups, producers and chefs to ensure it really is the best programme yet. The Dining Dome was a huge success last year so we’ve brought it back again and, of course, Gorton Monastery is returning for a second year to host the awards. We’ll see you all on September 26 when the festivities begin and we enjoy our historic new surroundings.”


BISTROTHEQUE CLASSIQUE – The Dining Dome, September 26, 7.30pm. Tickets £45 via foodanddrinkfestival.com

CULTUREPLEX is one of Manchester’s most anticipated 2019 arrivals. It is a new base for Bistrotheque, which has made its name in East London by serving uncomplicated food and drink delivered with good taste, charm and a dollop of fun. Expect extra helpings of all this when chef director Blaine Duffy creates this special Bistrotheque Classique MFDF banquet menu, including arrival cocktails, three courses, a quality wine pairing and digestif. All served alongside pop playing pianist Xavior Roide (above, ex-Placebo), sequin-clad satirical weirdos Bourgeois & Maurice and a game of pass the parcel. 

LIVE COOKERY THEATRE – The Dining Dome, September 28. Free.

The day includes 1pm Brian Hughson, head chef, 20 Stories; 2pm Sam Buckley (above), chef/patron, Where the Light Gets in; 3pm Rachel Stockley, head chef, Levanter/Baratxuri; 4pm Andrew Green, exec chef, Mamucium 


A PUNCH ABOVE: How to make the perfect party tipple – The Dining Dome, September 28, 6.30pm. Tickets £15 via foodanddrinkfestival.com

Join Jamie Rowe, JJ Whitley Gin & Vodka Ambassador, as he guides you through how to make the perfect party punch with the knowledge of how to balance readily available ingredients and, of course, the JJ Whitley range. You’ll be greeted with a glass of punch on arrival, then Jamie will regale you with the wondrous history of this delightful drink while you prepare to make your own version to enjoy. Capacity for 40 people, split into groups of four. 

‘BEST IN TOWN DINNER’ – Tast Catala, October 1, 7pm. Tickets £120 via againsthunger.uk/Best

Join Action Against Hunger as they celebrate the six chefs nominated for MFDF Chef of the Year at a unique and exclusive dinner. Guests will enjoy a six-course bespoke tasting menu created by the region’s most renowned talents: Simon Martin (Mana), Aiden Byrne (restaurant MCR), Sam Buckley (Where The Light Gets In), Miquel Villacrosa (Tast Catala), Omar Rodriguez Marrero (Umezushi) and Adam Reid (Adam Reid at The French). There’s also the opportunity to bid on some money-can’t-buy foodie experiences with all proceeds going to humanitarian organisation Action Against Hunger to combat hunger across the globe. 

AN EVENING OF RUM DECADENCE with Diablesse – The Dining Dome, October 5, 6.30pm. Tickets £20 via foodanddrinkfestival.com 

Let Gethin Jones, Diablesse brand ambassador and general manager at Cottonopolis, take you through the wonderful history of rum, how it’s made and what makes Cleo Farman’s unique, award-winning Diablesse blends so special. Learn how to taste with your nose and the art of creating your own Diablesse Rum cocktails in this special MFDF masterclass. Tickets include a bespoke cocktail on arrival and a full masterclass including cocktails to drink after. 

THE MFDF WINE AND FIZZ FESTIVAL – Manchester Cathedral, Friday and Saturday, October 5 and 6, various times. Tickets £15 per session via foodanddrinkfestival.com

Taking place in Manchester Cathedral, it packs lots of fizz and fun into celebrating the world’s best wines. Perfect for novices and passionate enthusiasts alike, it includes light hearted sessions for all. It will be divided into four zones – English Wines, Wines of the World, the Fizz Quarter and a Food Matching Area, providing the perfect accompaniments. 

SATURDAY SKILLS KITCHEN – The Dining Dome, October 5, Free.

1pm Pastry Workshop with Lee Wakeham from H.M. Pasties in Droylsden. This is one of Manchester’s great culinary success stories. Founder Lee’s entire staff consists of ex-prisoners. Staff earn a living wage while they develop cookery and customer service skills, as well as working towards food hygiene qualifications and a possible catering future. 

2pm Pasta Masterclass with Maurizio Cecco from Salvi’s.  After more than two decades in Manchester, Neapolitan Maurizio is the city’s unofficial ambassador for all things tasty and Southern Italian. He’ll show you how to make fresh pasta (above)

3pm Chocolate workshop with Masterchef finalist David Crichton. Long haul pilot and now bespoke chocolatier, he’ll be showing you how he does it. Expect a few free samples! 

DINE WITH TOM KERRIDGE AT MFDF – The Dining Dome, October 6, 1pm and 6pm. Tickets £75 via foodanddrinkfestival.com. 

Tom Kerridge is a busy man this autumn. He has a cookbook and TV series in the pipeline and in November he’s launching a restaurant in the new boutique Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester. He will be cooking two four course Sunday lunch meals with specially paired wines. It should be one of the Festival highlights, not to be missed. 


There’s a whole host of fringe events taking place across Greater Manchester, including the Cracking Good Food Pasta Perfecto Cookery Class, Meat the Butcher at Alston Bar and Beef and The Ancoats Taster Walk. There’s also the opportunity with the official festival booking partner, Bookatable, to enjoy a special series of one off menus across some of the city’s best restaurants via this link

For further information on all events visit the Festival website.  Or follow @MFDF19 on Twitter, @MFDF2019 on Instagram or check out the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Facebook page. The print brochure is available across Greater Manchester.