Manchester Food and Drink festival kicked off this Thursday. Over the next few weeks there are tons of events, meet & greets and tasting sessions hosted by top chefs and restaurants held around the city and focussed on Albert’s Square.
Action Against Hunger help malnourished children survive and grow up strong. They provide much needed nourishment, provide healthcare and assist communities in establishing food security. There current areas of focus include South Sudan, Senegal and Bangladesh.
The night began at King Street Townhouse, (in their newly opened cellar, which contains a private dining area and cinema), where we had welcome drinks and mingled. There were 46 attendees on Thursday evening and we were split into 4 groups, each with our own menu and itinerary.
Our group of 12 was made up of a ballet teacher, toy researcher, office designer and IT entrepreneur to name a few, but we all had one thing in common: our love of good food. There were many conversations over favourite restaurants, favourite chefs, worst restaurant experiences etc. which made for an enjoyable evening meeting new people.
Our first course was at Manchester Art Gallery (after hours) in a private dining space, where we were served a dish from chef Mary-Ellen McTague. Smoked pigeon with ragstone goats cheese, kohl rabi, rye crumbs and pickled walnuts, served with champagne. This was a really tasty dish, well balanced and refreshing, yet not short on the lovely rich pigeon.
For our next course we were whisked off to The French, one of my favourite Manchester restaurants and we were served crab soup with cod and caviar by Adam Reid himself. An easy drinking Spanish white wine accompanied. This was a lovely comforting dish – the ‘soup’ contained plenty of rich creamy butter.
Next (and I think we were very lucky here), we moved onto Hawksmoor
We were served a selection of steaks (rib eye, sirloin and fillet) with sides of triple-cooked chips, macaroni cheese, spinach with lemon and garlic, creamed spinach and caesar salad, along with a selection of sauces (the bone marrow gravy was a favourite!). There was SO MUCH STEAK and the room host, Andy, educated us all on wine buying too, whilst serving a lovely South African cabernet sauvignon.
Our last stop, for dessert, was Grafene. This is a restaurant I enjoy and they’re particularly good at putting on an event (like their menu launches). The restaurant is fortunate to have two private dining areas and I love their wood panelled walls with bright coloured chairs. Our dessert was described as ‘chocolate, cherry, yoghurt, kirsch’. Now cherry isn’t my favourite, but I do love chocolate. This was a lovely dessert with just the right amount of bitter chocolate and sweet berry/cherry flavours. The presentation was pretty too and it was served with a sloe gin.
The night was a great success. Someone in our group won the raffle (a night at King Street Townhouses’ cinema with 20 friends!) and £5,190 was raised for Action Against Hunger (which will be doubled by the government), so we finished the night on a high.
Keep your eyes peeled for more events by Action Against Hunger. They’re replicating the Moveable Feast in London through October and are back in Manchester on 25th October for a Masterpiece Dinner.
In the meantime, if you’re local to Manchester give Albert’s Square a visit before 9th October to experience Manchester Food and Drink Festival #MFDF17