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Food and Drink Festival winners: Aumbry wins best restaurant

We're first with the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards announced – what do you think?

Published on October 16th 2010.

Food and Drink Festival winners: Aumbry wins best restaurant

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival award winners were announced at an award ceremony, hosted by Becky Want of BBC Radio Manchester, in the Hilton.

The winners are in bold in the lists below. We reckon some of them will raise a few eyebrows - are they predictable or exciting?

There was a Chippy Award, a surprise, as it wasn't included in the awards list.....so the winner is Tony's Stadium Chippy from near Eastlands.

Confidential’s Manchester Food Hero Award
- Winner. Damson, 113 Heaton Moor Road, Stockport, SK4 4HY
- Gordo says: “The whole restaurant’s been a hero because everybody involved has produced one of the most complete neighbourhood establishments in the North West. It not only serves its local community very well but has also become a destination restaurant for a radius of forty miles around. In a sea of chains this little gem shines as brightly as the lighthouse, Pharos, at Alexandria once did.” (He really did use that analogy, he was possibly sober as well.Ed).

Restaurant of the Year sponsored by BBC Radio Manchester
- Winner. Aumbry, 2 Church Lane, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1AT
- Damson, 113 Heaton Moor Road, Stockport, SK4 4HY
- Grado, New York Street, Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 4BD
- Harvey Nichols, 21 New Cathedral Street, Manchester, M1 1AD
- Ramsons, 18 Market Place, Ramsbottom, Bury, BL0 9HT
- Red Chilli, 70-72 Portland Street, Manchester, M1 46U
- The River Restaurant, The Lowry Hotel, 50 Dearmans Place, Chapel Wharf, Manchester M3 5LH

Chef of the Year
- Winner. David Gale, The Hilton Manchester
- Laurence Tottingham & Mary-Ellen McTague, Aumbry
- Oliver Thomas, The Lowry Hotel
- Robert Owen Brown, Mark Addy
- Steve Midgley, Grado
- Stuart Thompson, Harvey Nichols Second Floor Restaurant and Brasserie

Best Newcomer sponsored by City Life
- La Mei Zi, Unit 2, The Quadrangle, Chester Street, Manchester, M1 5QS
- Winner. Mark Addy, Stanley Street, Salford, Lancashire, M3 5EJ
- The Red Lion, 112 Buxton Road, High Lane, Stockport, Cheshire, SK6 8ED
- Sweet Tooth Cupcakery, 34-36 Oldham St, Manchester, M1 1JN
- Thomas Restaurant and Bar, 49-51 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA
- Vnam, 140 Oldham Road, Manchester, M4 6BG

Best Bar sponsored by Metrolink
- Black Dog Ballroom, 37-43 Oldham Street, Manchester, M1 1J6
- Winner. Common, 41 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HW
- Electrik, 559 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 0AE
- Hula, 11 Stevenson Square, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M1 1DB
- The Modern, Floors 5 and 6, Urbis, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3B6
- Oddest, 414 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 0SD

Best Pub sponsored by Holland’s Pies
- Bar Fringe, 8 Swan Street, Manchester, M4 5JN
- Crown Inn, 154 Heaton Lane, Stockport, Cheshire, SK4 1AR
- Knott Bar, 374 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4LY
- Winner. Marble Arch, 73 Rochdale Road, Manchester, M4 4HY
- Pi, 99 Manchester Road, Chorlton, Manchester, M21 9GA
- The Woodthorpe, Bury Old Road, Manchester, M25 O66

Best Coffee Shop or Casual Dining Venue sponsored by Manchester Evening News
- Winner. Barburitto, 1 Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, M1 1RG
- The Chocolate Cafe, corner of Carr Street & Bolton Street, Ramsbottom, Bury, BL0 9HX
- Katsouris, 113 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2BQ
- Left Bank Cafe Bar, People’s History Museum, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3ER
- Panchos Burrito, Arndale Centre, Market Hall, Manchester, M4 2EB
- Sculpture Hall Cafe, Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester, M60 2JT

Best Wine List sponsored by Metrolink
- Grado, New York Street, Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 4BD
- Harvey Nichols, 21 New Cathedral Street, Manchester, M1 1AD
- Damson, 113 Heaton Moor Road, Stockport, SK4 4HY
- Winner. Hanging Ditch, Britannic Building, 42-44 Victoria Street, Manchester, M3 1ST
- Luso, 63 Bridge Street, Manchester, M3 3BQ
- White Hart, 51 Stockport Road, Lydgate, Saddleworth, Oldham, OL4 4JJ

Best Food and Drink Retail Outlet
- Eighth Day Cafe, 111 Oxford Road, Manchester, M1 7DU
- POD, 30 Albert Road, Levenshulme, Manchester, M19 2GE
- Hickson & Blacks, 559A Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester, M21 8AN
- Winner. Unicorn, 89 Albany Rd, Chorlton, Manchester, M4 1PW
- Winos, 63 George Street, Oldham, OL1 1LX
- Zest, Doffcocker Roundabout, 877-879 Moss Bank Way, Smithills, Bolton, BL1 5SN

MFDF Award for Healthy and Sustainable Eating Sponsored by Food Futures
- Gusto, 756 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury
- Isinglass, 46 Flixton Road, Urmston, M41 5AB
- Livebait, 22 Lloyd Street, Manchester, M2 5WA
- Loch Fyne, 848 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2RN
- Winner. Podium, Hilton Hotel, 303 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4LQ
- Eighth Day Cafe, 111 Oxford Road, Manchester, M1 7DU

Best Family Friendly Venue
The Family Friendly Venue of the Year was subject entirely to a public vote in 2010.

- The Chocolate Café, Ramsbottom

Best Beer Brewed in Greater Manchester
- ‘Cascade’ Boggart Hole Clough

Outstanding Achievement Award

- Trafford College

Manchester Community Foodie Award sponsored by Forever Manchester
This new award is sponsored by Forever Manchester, to recognise some of Greater Manchester’s most valuable and exciting community food projects.

- Winner. Mustard Tree, Greater Manchester
- Nexus Café, Manchester
- Incredible Edible Ramsbottom
- Earth Café, Rochdale
- Diggle Lane Allotments, Bury

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44 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

ellpollolocoOctober 12th 2010.

Really chuffed for Damson and Aumbry, fully deserved. Can't really understand how Grado got nominated though.

Jordan FishOctober 12th 2010.

What a dull list of winners. Eminently predictable, do the judges only go to about seven restaurants?

Eddy RheadOctober 12th 2010.

Forgive me if im wrong but hasnt the best 'newcomer' The Mark Addy been there for donkeys years?

AnonymousOctober 12th 2010.

No surprise though Eddy Rhead was it? 'newcomer' is misleading. The other amazing thing is that Ramsons/Chris Johnson didn't get their annual award......

Eddy RheadOctober 12th 2010.

I wasnt questioning the quality of The Mark Addy or whether it deserved an award or not (im sure it does) by the way - just the fact im sure it has been there for most of my adult life and therefore hardly a newcomer.

BanesOctober 12th 2010.

The Mark Addy is a new business. New owners, new management, new chef, new concept, new offering, new audience. I think that's pretty obvious.

It's as different as when San Carlo opened in Zizzi's old site, or Red Chilli opened where Beaujolais used to be. The only difference is that restaurants tend to go with a new brand, whereas pubs tend to keep historical names even when the actual businesses are very different.

That's nice I think, tradition is important, and pubs are all about tradition.

Frankly anyone who can't tell that the Mark Addy now is a different business to the Mark Addy or ten years ago (albeit with the same name and in the same building) is an idiot.

Would the same people fail to see the changes over the last decade or two in pubs like the Oxnoble say, or The Barleycorn or the Metropolitan, or the Marble Arch, or maybe The Star in Harome, or The Eagle in Farringdon, or... etc etc ad infinitum...

AnonymousOctober 12th 2010.

The coverage of this event by BBC Manchester was cring-worthy and toe-curling. 'What's an amuse bouche?'asked the daft girlie presenter. And, as for Becky Want, why are we subjected to her blatherings every year? As for the award ceremony itself, I'd nodded off into my wine glass by the time it started at 11pm. The National Restaurant Awards in London last night however were the polar opposite. Quick, slick and professional. Manchester watch and learn. At least we didn't have to put up with shite food from the Town Hall or the Princess Hotel this year, the one saving grace

sharxno1October 12th 2010.

Congratulations to Trafford College well deserved;phenomenal cutting edge catering college.

cathyOctober 12th 2010.

congratulations to both common and the marble arch

MarkOctober 12th 2010.

Very confusing layout on this! Its a bit all over the place, looks like you just cut and copied the text, couldnt be arsed to do anything except type winner, and change bits into bold...

Just call me a pedantOctober 12th 2010.

I'm with Eddy, the Mark Addy isn't new. And Banes, The Barleycorn is now called Albert's Shed, and the building was totally rebuilt. That's two factors which make it new. A change of ownership and menu doesn't make the Mark Addy new.

Simon BowersOctober 12th 2010.

I just find some of the nominations, and therefore the winners, quite odd. As has been mentioned, the same stale old places getting their annual nominations, it does seem as if the city bleats on about the same places every year and doesn't always broaden its horizons on its own doorstep.

AnonymousOctober 12th 2010.

Always wonder about these sort of awards, how dose the WINNER of the Best Chef not get a nomination for Best Restaurant? Now I know that a restaurant isn't all about the chef, but surely the "Best Chef" in Manchester could get a nomination for best restaurant??

JOctober 12th 2010.

Should have changed the name for the Mark Addy to 'The New Mark Addy'...maybe that would please some people!

BanesOctober 12th 2010.

Pedant (if I may call you that), a fair point RE Albert's Shed and a slapdash eror on my part. Allow me to sub in the Red Lion, Steve Pilling's High Lane venture, in it's place.

I still think the point stands - The Mark Addy is a very different business than previously with different owners etc and it has merely retained a name associated with the building, as is tradition with pubs.

I think we would be doing ROB and his team a huge diservice if their recently opened venture was dismissed as a continuation of the Mark Addy of old when it clearly offers something very different.

Equally it would be a diservice to punters who have now been made aware that it IS new venture and have tried it and enjoyed it on that basis, as otherwise they might be none the wiser.

BanesOctober 12th 2010.

Like when the precursor band to Spinal Tap had to change it's name to 'The New Originals' as there was already a band called 'The Originals'...

Tyson ThebeerhoundOctober 12th 2010.

I'm with you on the Mark Addy-of course it classes as a new venture. I can't see how anyone can really argue with that, to be honest. And, out of the shortlisted, it deserved to win. Good food but they need to sort the beer side out. For £3 a pint you want more than four similar brown beers to choose from. And Bud and Peroni don't really cut it on the bottled beer side.

The Marble was a predictable winner. Out of the shortlist, only the Crown could give it any competition. What is amazing everyone is that a beer from Boggart won "Best beer brewed in Greater Manchester". Will the judges be named and shamed and their reasoning explained?

AnonymousOctober 12th 2010.

Where is Boggart brewed Tyson?

Jane BaxterOctober 12th 2010.

I am really pleased Damson won. Well deserved.

mOctober 12th 2010.

I'm disappointed Barburrito won over Panchjos in the Arndale Market.

Barburrito has gone through so many cost saving and up-selling tweaks it's just not the place it used to be. It's definitely achieved it's objective of looking, feeling and feeding customers like a run-of-the-mill chain.

Panchos is loads better.

Eddy RheadOctober 12th 2010.

Dear Banes - either an idiot or someone who hasnt been to the Mark Addy in 15 years and who was totally oblivious to the seismic changes in the universe that occurred when some pub changed hands. Im surprised there wasnt a public holiday called, a 4 hour long firework display and hundreds of new born children named Mark Addy in honour of this momentous event? What an idiot i am for thinking that a pub i have little or no interest in that has the same name as it did when he was a nipper is a completely different 'concept'. I hang my head in shame and you are welcome to throw rotten (but tastefully presented) tomatoes at me.

Tyson ThebeerhoundOctober 12th 2010.

Boggart beers are brewed in Newton Heath. They have a certain reputation for shall we say, er, variability.

AnonymousOctober 12th 2010.

Well done to all at Aumbry, sterling work on a very tight budget! But why wasn't it nominated for best newcomer, when it hasn't even been open a year yet?

Samantha MoranOctober 12th 2010.

Aumbry should have won, best restaurant too. But atleast it won one. Should have also been in best newcomer agree with anon. It's well deserved!

AnonymousOctober 12th 2010.

Er, read the article Sav

KOctober 12th 2010.

I'm really surprised that Barburrito won, especially over the excellent, excellent Pancho's Burrito. I'm not going to be taking any recommendations from here if that's the state of the judging...

Samantha MoranOctober 12th 2010.

I meant Aumbry should have won Chef of the Year too. Oops

Piers MorganOctober 12th 2010.

Give the awards to Gordo next year, he was great on stage.

BanesOctober 13th 2010.

Fair point Eddy, I was feeling feisty yesterday, eight hours of legal meetings can do that to you... My initial point, even shorn of feistiness, was directed more at the anon poster who followed you, who seemed unconvinced that the current Mark Addy counted as a new venture.

But to address your other point: I'm asssuming (always dangerous) that as a Man Con regular you're Manchester based and have an interest in the city's food and drink scene?

As such I'm suprised you didn't hear about ROB and Co taking over the Mark Addy. It was heavily PR-ed, has been written about plenty here on Man Con and in the city's other on and offline media, and has also been featured on national TV a couple of times (including prime time Beeb). I can't think of a restaurant that's created a bigger buzz in the city over the last twelve months.

But if anything, that only makes it all the more important and relevent that the Mark Addy has been flagged up as a "newcomer". If a Manc foodie (I'm assuming again!) like yourself didn't know about the changing of the guard then how many other potential punters are also unaware? Hurrah for the food and drink awards for shining a light on it, and hopefully more diners(including your good self) will now go and try it for themselves.

Go for the game and the offal, that's my tip.

And if I were even to throw rotten tomatoes they would of course be rare heirloom varieties grown by artisan Cheshire farmers, at least some of whom might be called Mark Addy.

chunky monkeyOctober 13th 2010.

Personally I don't think Barburrito deserved to win, it's food is not authentic in that it completely lacks flavour - the ingerdients seem to be there but they just lack seasoning! Maybe their bland take on Mexican food is why it does so well at piccadilly?! However I don't think it is fair to say somewhere (Panchos - Ive never eaten their food so I don't know what it's like!) is better just because it's one on its own and not part of a chain. We have a really awful habit in the UK of belittling any business trying to grow expand and make money - I respect them on that level - I don't care if they aren't a one man operation with loads of character - it doesn't matter to me when it's quick serve - I just wish the food was better.

Eddy RheadOctober 13th 2010.

Bain - yes i am Manchester based but to be honest i take little or no interest in Manchester's food and drink scene being a vegetarian, tea total shut in. I think i heard a story in passing about them serving Panda kidneys in Vimto sauce or something but apart from that the Mark Addy whirlwind has passed me by. They perhaps need to be more heavy with the PR.

Leigh ScottOctober 13th 2010.

PR Eddy? what about this idea roasting a giant stuffed three bird turkey in a metal filing cabinet in someones carpark?

That would get some attention surely?

Totally CulturedOctober 13th 2010.

oh dear oh dear quite a rant going on re the best newcomer - Thomas should have snapped that one up and I have no idea why Black Dog Ball room never got a look in?

AnonymousOctober 14th 2010.

I was at the awards ceremony and thought the food was good but there's some fairly nasty rumours flying around Manchester today re the dinner. I dostress rumours.

ruthOctober 14th 2010.

what rumours? that's weird. i was there too.

Anon tooOctober 14th 2010.

So was I. What rumours are these?

NortherngeezerOctober 14th 2010.

Rumours??....................OOOOHH, i love a good bit of goss.
Were these the same ones surrounding the big fella's sexuality?? ;-)

AnonymousOctober 14th 2010.

Alas no Northern. This was food-related

ruthOctober 14th 2010.

well I felt a bit sick, but I did drink all the cava, most of three bottles of wine, and woke up the next day with a bottle of Grants in my handbag...

Simon Binns - News EditorOctober 14th 2010.

I too felt unwell after the awards. But that's down to a) Andrew Nutter's large measures in his hotel room; b) The Castle Hotel's hospitality; c) more booze than could sink a battleship with dinner.

EARL OF DIDSBURYOctober 14th 2010.

Been to Damsons and Ramsons this year both excellent ,,, Barburrito is an ok+ fast food chain ,, now talking all things mexican i have just visited Wahaca in Convent Garden London , opened by a winner of master chef a few years ago , really good authentic good value food , funky interior, its also opened 2 other branches in London and we really could do with one in Manchester it would be really popular.

AnonymousJanuary 27th 2011.

only got one rant to make- damson should have took the best restaurant award. and why wasnt damsons simon stanley in the nominations for ghef of the year??? i will never fully understand the logic behind the distribution of these awards!!!!!

loverof greatfoodJanuary 27th 2011.

haha too many wines me thinks....chef of the year!!!

AnonymousFebruary 4th 2011.

i tend to agree... damson got best newcomer at the 2009 awards, the aubrey is a good restaurant but possibly more deserving of best newcomer award 2010 rather than picking up best rstaurant-in my oppinion the best restaurant award should have gone to Damson or ramsons

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