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Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2011 Preview

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall tops the bill from 7-17 October

Published on July 20th 2011.

Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2011 Preview

WE'VE had the Manchester Food and Drink Festival press release – here it is in all its glory.

'AFTER the most successful festival to date in 2010, MFDF will be back this year with more gastronomic delights for the city and region.

The fourteenth annual Manchester Food and Drink Festival will take place from the 7-17 October 2011. Featuring headline chefs Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Fergus Henderson, alongside an exciting schedule of dining experiences in the city’s best restaurants and bars, and a plethora of sizzling food and drink adventures throughout Manchester’s streets and squares.

This year’s sponsors are being credited as the ‘Heroes’ of the festival: saviours, helping the ever popular event continue its growth and sustainability despite this year’s withdrawal of all funding from the city council. 

Festival Heroes already confirmed include: Official Brewer: Robinsons; Manchester Icon Sponsors: Argent; Manchester Icon Sponsors: Manchester Confidential; Official Industry Partner: Jelf Manson; Partners: The Printworks; Official Hotel: The Lowry Hotel; Official Radio Partner: BBC Radio Manchester.

Festival co-director Phil Jones said: “The 2011 festival will continue to help boost local businesses, through delivering high quality, accessible, fun events for everyone in Greater Manchester and beyond, and leave another great taste legacy for so many people”

Festival co-director Siobhan Hanley added: “The Manchester Food and Drink Festival will be back with what we believe will be our most exciting event to date - we’re determined to raise the bar despite a tough economic backdrop.

"We've got fantastic support from local businesses and sponsors who more than ever are playing a critical role in the development of this great event - our hearty thanks to them all."

John Robinson from Robinson’s Brewery added: "Robinson's are looking forward to playing a central role in the festival again this year. It provides a great showcase for our beer, and having signed a three year partnership deal we are keen to give our ongoing support to the festival which plays such an important role in highlighting the fantastic array of food and drink in the city."

The festival will expand across the city centre with additional highlights to include:

Gastr-avaganza! The MFDF Big Festival Hub, Albert Square, 7-16 October

A double weekend-long foodie fandango with two tasty weekends (7–9 October and 13 – 16 October) sandwiching covered and al fresco dining, drinking and fun all week long. The site will once again be transformed into a pop-up food village with more exciting food and drink experiences than ever before including celebrity chefs, restaurants, live music, Oktoberfest Beer Keller, Local Ale Festival, Robinson’s Autumn Beer Bar, Bespoke Festival Wine Bar, Manchester’s first Street Food Festival, the Manchester Chilli Fest and Live Cookery Theatre. Plus much more for all the family to enjoy.

The Third MFDF Big Indie Wine Fest 

VENUE TBA, 7 - 8 October

The Big Indie Wine Fest celebrates the wonderful local and independent wine merchants in the region.  A massive festival hit, this popular event aims to make its mark as the biggest event of its type, in 2011. 

The Big Manchester 'Eat Out'

Venues across Greater Manchester, 7 - 17 October

This year’s festival, more than ever before, aspires to encourage dining and drinking out in the city’s fabulous restaurants, bars, pubs, cafes and delis. A top notch programme of events will be created across the entire festival split into two main strands:

One Off Festival Dining Events

Restaurants get creative staging their own, one-off festival spectaculars to showcase what they do and bring something special to the venue for one night only.

MFDF Dinner Menu in association with Manchester Confidential.

MFDF and Manchester Confidential will be working together with establishments to offer a £15 menu/dinner during the festival. This is an opportunity for restaurants to showcase the best of what they have to offer and attract new customers. Guests will be asked to vote for their favourite dinner, which will be announced at the Awards Dinner.  

Manchester Whisky Festival

The Lowry Hotel, 15 October

The Manchester Whisky Festival is an annual event institution in the region, featuring over 100 drams for the tasting, attended by around 1000 malt enthusiasts and generally famed for its value for money experience, being suitable for experts and novices alike. Tickets on sale now through the festival website.

Feast Markets 

St Ann’s Square, 5 – 16 October

By far the biggest annual regional producers’ market in the city, and the first of its type in the North West. Feast celebrates the best food and drink the region has to offer. With spectacular lunch time ‘food to go’ dining experiences and a host of sampling and goodies all day long, this is a not to be missed experience and should be repeated frequently throughout the festival.

MFDF Gala Dinner and Awards

Venue TBA  on 17 October – watch out for a BRAND NEW FORMULA to this show case event

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival Gala Dinner and Awards is one of the industry’s most hotly anticipated events. Once again to be broadcast live by BBC Radio Manchester its where the region’s highest profile and best regarded food and drink awards are announced.  

Manchester Chocolate Festival
Exchange Square/New Cathedral Street, 15 - 16 October

Featuring the worlds first ever bean-to-bar chocolate factory, a rolling round of talks, displays and workshops; a chance to meet cocoa growers and sample a big, yummy chocolate market. This is a chocolate adventure not to be missed, at a level never seen in Manchester before.

Kids Food Festival, Sunday 9 October, Festival Hub.

A whole day dedicated to kids food fun including making, growing, watching, tasting, learning and crafting.

Floating Feasts
Throughout the Festival, The River Irwell

Following the success of the Manchester by Boat events in 2010, MFDF intend to present a series of floating feasts and family friendly food adventures on our lovely clean river.

Chorlton and Didsbury Food Festivals
1 - 17 October, Chorlton, Didsbury

Revitalised fringe Festivals in two of Manchester’s highest quality food and drink destinations. 

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