Manchester’s annual Food and Drink Festival will be taking over the city on 26 September to 7 October, promising exciting culinary customs all over Manchester.
This year, the renowned event has announced a collaboration with Manchester Art Gallery with acclaimed chefs putting on their best spread in the gallery to kick off the foodie festival’s 22ndyear.
There are three upcoming events in a series of four, each uniquely designed to celebrate the most significant artists of our time. The first was the stunning sold-out evening, Dine With Da Vinci, which took place in April and tickets for the remaining three have recently gone on sale.
Manchester Food and Drink Festival first began in 1998, in attempt to prove to the rest of the nation that Manchester is so much more than meat pies and gravy, no matter how well we do it. The festival has transformed the city’s dining scene and the awards given by the festival have been recognised as the most important in the region.
The first upcoming dinner party will see Manchester’s very own Mary-Ellen McTague host ‘A Midsummer Nordic Feast’ in the Art Gallery’s glass roofed atrium on 28 June. She has made a name for herself by running two superb restaurants in Manchester, The Aumbry and 4244. She is currently the chef at The Creameries in Chorlton.
The gallery has a Nordic craft and design exhibition running until November 2019, from where the feast has drawn inspiration. Guests will receive a drink reception and a private tour of this installation, followed by McTague’s four course Scandinavian-style banquet.
The exhibition boasts a selection of Nordic furniture, fashion and jewellery as well as ceramics and glass sculptures from as long ago as 1930. This one-off dining experience falls just after Midsummer’s Eve, one of the most important days on the calendar in Sweden, to celebrate the start of summer with nostalgic traditions like gathering in the countryside and decorating the maypole with flower wreaths.
This Spanish style supper will see Shaw create a sharing feast menu inspired by the gallery’s new group show, ‘Get Together and Get Things Done’, taking place in the Dining Dome. His guests will be invited on a culinary journey through Shaw’s contemporary and authentic Spanish cooking.
‘Get Together and Get Things Done’ is part of a city-wide programme to mark the two-hundredth anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre. The historical event resulted in the establishment of the Manchester Guardian newspaper, Trade Unions and ordinary people won the right to vote. The massively influential protest is a key part of Manchester’s history and the Art Gallery is providing the space and resources for non-profit groups looking to make our city an even better place.
Manchester Art Gallery’s ‘Get Together with El Gato Negro’s Simon Shaw’ event will give guests the opportunity to indulge Shaw’s elite cooking with live music and entertainment all through the night.
The final event of the season is the elaborate ‘The Art of Dining’, where the acclaimed chef Aiden Byrne will team up with Manchester Art Gallery’s curators on Saturday 5 October.
This super special evening will see the owner and executive chef at Restaurant MCR celebrate the Art Gallery’s immense 45,000-strong collection. This event will highlight the finest pieces in the gallery from a range of collections, rather than focusing on a single exhibition.
Byrne is famously the youngest chef in the UK to be awarded a Michelin star. He will craft a six-course tasting menu for his guests, with each dish taking inspiration from a different piece of art. Throughout the night, diners will have the opportunity to hear from the curators and Aiden Byrne to guide them through the art and the dish it has inspired.
The Manchester Art Gallery has been around since 1835, originally established to showcase some of the best art from around the world. Now, the collection spans over six centuries of some of the finest art, design, craft, photography and fashion, whether that is 19thCentury art or the award-winning artists of today.