Updated: Wednesday, 3rd June 2020 @ 3:06pm

Manchester Food and Drink Festival promises to be 'best yet' and pledges to battle food poverty

Manchester Food and Drink Festival promises to be 'best yet' and pledges to battle food poverty

By Judith Hawkins

Manchester’s 16th Food and Drink Festival is preparing to take over the city from Thursday as a variety of culinary delights ranging from a champagne dinner dance to beer brewed with Iron Maiden will be offered.

The Festival Hub in Albert Square will play host to Manchester’s biggest ever Street Food Fair, the Independent Food Market, cooking master classes, Robinson’s Pop Up Pub and Apotheca’s Pop Up Cocktail Bar as well as the Manchester Beer Festival offering more than 100 local beers.

Accompanying the assortment of food and drink will be live music from the likes of I Am Kloot frontman Johnny Bramwell, and DJ sets from local artists Unabombers and Club Clique.

Creator Phil Jones believes this year’s festival will be the best yet.

He said: “With so much going on people can come to the Hub every day and each time get a completely different eating and drinking experience.”

For those wishing to venture out into the city for gourmet delights, there will be guided food tours through the Northern Quarter and Chinatown as well as celebrity chef Andrew Nutter’s guide to the best food in Greater Manchester.

There will also be plenty of culinary based fundraising, including the annual Birdhouse Charity Cake Sale raising money to support local women. Meanwhile Rob Ellis, Rachel and Wingman from Manchester’s Capital Radio Breakfast Team will be swapping their sound desks for saucepans as they become cooks for one night only at MC Café in Abode in aid of Help a Capital Child.

Festival Executive Director Siobhan Hanley said: “This is a festival for Manchester by Manchester, and it’s right that we look at the best things going on in the city and celebrate new talent as well as consider some of the problems that we have around food too with the food poverty strand.”

Organisers of the MFDF are aiming to surpass last year’s festival, which saw more than 150,000 visitors to the Hub, by bringing back the most popular events along with introducing new attractions.

Amongst the additions to the festival’s calendar this year is a champagne dinner dance at The Mark Addy restaurant as well as a new Liquor Market where visitors can sample boutique spirits from a range of exhibitors at the recently opened Rosy Lee Tea Rooms in the Northern Quarter.

The Big Indie Wine Fest is returning for its 5th year, although this time attendees can enjoy the wide variety of wines in the grand surroundings of Manchester Town Hall. The gothic Great Hall will also be the setting for the annual Gala Dinner and Awards honouring Manchester’s best restaurants, bars and chefs.

As well as the fun to be had at the annual Oktoberfest and the 100 Greatest Beer Bar, the festival will be taking a serious look at food poverty in Manchester by holding a summit between representatives from the government, the council and the food industry. Organisers are also asking people to drop off food at the Festival Hub to help food banks keep up with rising demand.

Image courtesy of Stuart Grout via Flickr, with thanks.

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