Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2020

Part of our Food and Drink in Manchester and the North guide

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor
MFDF 2020
Ian Jones

Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2020, 24 September–5 October 2020 - Book now

The much-loved Manchester Food and Drink Festival was due to return at the end of September with a whole host of exciting food-related events designed to celebrate Manchester’s diverse and resilient hospitality industry. Sadly, the festival which was set to be the city’s first COVID-safe major outdoor event, has been postponed until April 2021 with organisers promising to return stronger.

“Unfortunately, in light of the latest advice we’ve been given by the city’s public health teams we have, in partnership with Manchester City Council, taken the very difficult decision to postpone this year’s Manchester Food and Drink Festival Hub event on Cathedral Gardens.” says a statement from Manchester Food and Drink Festival organisers. “We’re hugely disappointed, but obviously safety is our key concern and we have decided to postpone the festival until next April. We would like to thank Manchester City Council for their continued support and also all the businesses who have worked so hard on this year’s event.

“All table reservations will be refunded or can be rolled over to next year.  The events happening in restaurants and our fringe activity in Urmston are still scheduled to go ahead, and have our full support, as does our wonderful hospitality industry who we will continue to celebrate.

“The Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards will go ahead ‘virtually’ as planned so we encourage everyone to vote via the MFDF website and app.  Information and updates will continue to be shared via our app, social channels and website. We are obviously gutted to be postponing but we’ll be back bigger and better in 2021.”

We are of course sad to see this year’s plans postponed but we can’t wait to find out what they have in store for April. However, it’s not completely over. Socially distanced and safe events at restaurants will be going ahead, along with a renewed focus on the cook-at-home delivery meals. Here are some details about what we understand to be going ahead during this year’s pared-back activities:

MFDF Across The City: 

MFDF has collaborated with some of the city’s leading restaurants, bars and cafes to curate a programme showcasing our amazing dining community. The programme includes:

Moda + Higher Ground:

Manchester’s Highest Dining Venue: 25th and 26th September. For a limited time only, the penthouse apartments at the newly opened Moda Angel Gardens will play host to a very special series of supper clubs as Higher Ground take residency, especially for the Festival.  At 100m high, the pop up will be Manchester’s highest dining venue with stunning views across the city and beyond. With just four dates available, the pop-up gives guests a one-off chance to dine in this stunning setting and capture one of the most iconic shots of Manchester.

Guests will enjoy welcome drinks with a view, as the sun sets over the city, before sitting down for a four-course meal served using fresh north-west produce with paired wines to accompany. Moda Angel Gardens is Manchester’s next-generation neighbourhood, bringing together stunning apartments, hotel-style services and enviable amenities, including a rooftop sports pitch and cinema room.

Higher Ground, led by Joseph Otway and Richard Cossins, brings together North West ingredients, Manchester brewed beer and natural wines in a chilled-out setting. Joseph, ex-Head Chef of Where The Light Gets In in Stockport and ex-Relæ in Copenhagen, will be in the open-plan penthouse kitchen creating a daily changing menu, using fresh local ingredients sourced from handpicked Northwest farmers and producers.

Tickets for the Moda + Higher Ground Penthouse suppers are priced at £100pp. Ticket price includes a welcome drink, four courses and paired wines.

The MFDF Experience By Adam Reid At The French:

Thursday 1st October – £140 per person (6.30 pm – 8.30 pm)
Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd October  – £180 per person (5.30pm – 8.30pm Friday, 12noon – 1pm & 5.30pm – 9.30pm Saturday)

Join one of Manchester’s most talented and best-loved chefs as Adam Reid, star of Great British Menu, Exec Chef at The French, and huge supporter of independent, Manchester talent (and the MFDF) brings a very special food experience to the Festival programme.

Love Urmston Events: 

New for this year’s Festival is a partnership with some of the best food and drink independents in Urmston who have come together under the Love Urmston banner to showcase the town’s diverse eating and drinking scene.  Look out for festival offers, special menus, a mini food and drink pop up market on the M41 site on Railway Road on Saturday 26 September and an artisan market on Saturday 3 October.  Enjoy a taste of Urmston’s award-winning independent restaurants, traditional pubs, cocktail bars, coffee shops, wine bars and craft beer retailers by booking your place on one of a limited number of food tours taking place between 1-4 October.  See Eventbrite for more details and to book your ticket.

MFDF Awards: 5th October (venue TBA)
The MFDF Awards 2020 will be live-streamed at a venue yet to be announced by hosts BBC Radio Manchester’s Becky Want and BBC Radio 6 Music’s Matt White.

Ceviche Masterclass and Feast at Peru Perdu: 5th October

Manchester’s colourful & vibrant Peruvian-inspired residency restaurant brings a special ceviche masterclass to the Festival, offering the chance to gain a unique insight into the mechanics & flavourings of Peru’s most famous dish – Ceviche (raw fish marinated in citrus). Start with a House Pisco Sours at the bar before moving on to the Ceviche station where the chef will talk guests through the history of the dish, preparation, flavouring and an authentic ceviche recipe that will be sure to impress your friends. After the masterclass, guests will then be seated for a full feasting menu including all the best of the Peruvian dishes + 1/2 bottle of wine per person!

MFDF At Home: 

MFDF have teamed up with some of the best chefs around to create DIY Delivery Kits to enjoy at home to ensure Festival fans can get involved in the Festival whether they are ready to get out and about yet or not. Order your kits from the likes of: Taste of Honey, Didsbury – ‘Stay Safe R’Kid MCR Picnic Box; Yao Yao Noodles – Ramen Kit; Blue Caribou Canteen – Poutine Meal Kit; Grandad’s Sausages – Hot dog kits.

Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2020

24 September–5 October 2020