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Visit Manchester for the Food and Drink Festival 2019

Image © Manchester Food and Drink Festival via Facebook

How to get the most out of this acclaimed culinary event

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival is taking over the city centre for its 22nd year. The festival has been a celebration of, you guessed it, food and drink since 1998, and offers plenty of exciting events for Northern foodies. Catch celebrity chefs, live music and cocktail masterclasses here in MCR city centre… 

Image credit: Manchester Food and Drink Festival via Facebook
Catch a TV chef 
Some huge names have graced the Dining Dome of the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, including Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey, Fergus Henderson, Michel Roux and John Torode. The festival is a great chance to catch an up and coming name in the world of cookery, and better yet – get to try some of their food. Head down for some free live cookery shows with Brian HughsonSam BuckleyRachel Stockley and Andrew Green. Enjoy an intimate dining event with Simon Shaw or a gastro comfort food ‘communal feast’ with Great British Menu’s Adam Reid. You might also fancy pushing the boat out and enjoying a special four-course lunch (with paired drinks) cooked by the Northern favourite Tom Kerridge

Pick up some skills 
You’ll no doubt pick up plenty of skills at the live cookery shows, but on 5 October you’ll also find a small selection of Saturday Skills sessions! You can learn the secret mysteries of pastry in a workshop with Lee Wakeham from H.M Pasties. This chef hires only ex-prisoners and helps people to turn their lives around whilst learning skills and gaining a living wage. Join the Southern Italian chef Maurizio Cecco and see the delicate art of pasta making or feed your sweet tooth with a decadent chocolate workshop with the MasterChef chocolatier David Crichton. All three of these workshops are free and take place on the same day, so you can really head home with plenty of knowledge to try out for tea! 

Image credit: Manchester Food and Drink Festival via Facebook
Go vegan 
Sunday 29 September is a celebration of all-things vegan. Cathedral Gardens’ Dining Dome will go entirely plant-based for one full day and night. Head down during the day (12-4pm) for a Vegan Takeover hosted by the vegan musician and journalist John Robb. This free event is a great chance to enjoy some vegan street food and catch live cooking shows by some of Manchester’s leading vegan chefs, showing off some of the best new developments in plant-based cooking. You can grab vegan beers and wines at the bar and enjoy good food, guilt free. 
Before you visit the Dining Dome, be sure to grab a ticket to the Edible Fungi Foray. This 2 ½ - 3-hour trip begins at Hare and Hounds in Bury and is a great lesson in which mushrooms you can and can’t safely eat. 
During the evening you can head down for a ticketed Plant Based Evening with Shaun Ryder, John Robb and Bundobust, where you’ll enjoy an Indian banquet and tasty vegan drinks. Shaun Ryder and John Robb will discuss their love of vegan food and Manchester in what’s sure to be a lively and entertaining conversation. 
Mix a drink
At the Dining Dome you’ll find both street food vendors and a host of bars, so you’ll certainly be able to enjoy the best of both these worlds. They also have a few events dedicated to booze, including the hands on Evening of Rum Decadence with Diablesse. Enjoy making some rum cocktails with quality Diablesse Rum, learning about the tasty spirit. Those who prefer a lighter spirit may want to head down to the A Punch Above: How to Make The Perfect Party Tipple workshop, where JJ Whitley gin and vodka are used to make some punch packing drinks in groups of four.