Food & Drink

He’s back! Chef Robert Owen Brown gets ready to launch Manchester Gourmet Club in Didsbury

His food at the Mark Addy pub had critics flocking from miles around and its closure as a restaurant last month had the very same foodies weeping.

Now, celebrated chef Robert Owen Brown is set to launch his latest project in Didsbury – The Manchester Gourmet Club.

The event, which will take place at The Old Parsonage on Saturday, is the first of a new occasional dining experience in Manchester combining great food with wonderful wines.

The movement has been cited as ‘the very best of regional, seasonal food’.

Brown’s curious cuisine – for he is not someone who ever plays by the traditional ‘rules’ – will be served up alongside wines selected by Reserve Wines’ Kate Goodman, drinks expert to BBC2’s Food & Drink with Michel Roux Jnr.

Brown, who left the Mark Addy last month citing a huge repair bill as the reason, said: “We just wanted to get together and do some funky, different sort of dinners in one of the unique Manchester buildings.

“The main course is tea-smoked duck. It’s quite an unusual way of cooking the duck as it’s smoked over Earl Grey tea.

“There are all sorts of things on there, all sorts of things.”

Brown will be sharing his experience, plus presenting his talents and knowledge of Northern cuisine to enthusiastic diners in Manchester, whilst Goodman will be pairing her wines to the delicious, locally-sourced meals.

He added: “Wine and food have always been closely associated. If Kate’s done her job right and I’ve done my job right, the flavour combinations should be absolutely outstanding.

“I think going forward in the future; it’s going to be as local as we can get it, which has always been my food ethos.”

The Old Parsonage is a Grade II listed building that has been restored by a community group to its former glory.

Mr Brown added: “It’s a beautiful little building. It probably needs a little bit more public awareness, so getting a load of new faces into the building won’t do any harm at all.

“The main aim is to showcase really good, well-cooked food and also to showcase some forgotten, iconic Manchester landmarks.”

The Manchester Gourmet Club will be fundraising for the Parsonage stained glass window appeal with a raffle to mark the first experience.

Tickets will cost £45 per person, with the full menu and booking details available online at

Image courtesy of Salford Council via YouTube, with thanks.

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