The winners at the Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards have been revealed.
The awards look to honour restaurants, pubs, and bars, all in the Manchester area – and are revealed with dramatic timing at the end of the festival.
Winners at the Festival
The Manchester Food and Drink Festival took place this year from the 29th of September through to the 10th of October. This was the 19th annual event, which celebrates food and drink in the Greater Manchester area.
The Gala Dinner and the awards ceremony closed the event, allowing the participants to go head to head for the prizes. The judging panel had their work cut out for them, with a long list of categories in which choices had to be made. 17 awards were handed out, 5 of which were brand new for this year.
At the Palace Hotel, which is newly refurbished, a collection of leading critics and experts presented their choices for the shortlists, which were perused by judges acting undercover. Public votes combined with those scores made up the overall ratings.
So, what about the results? Best Restaurant went to the Hawksmoor, while The French at the Midland Hotel took Premium & Fine Dining Venue of the Year 2016. Casual Dining Venue of the Year 2016 was awarded to Volta, while the Best Newcomer was chosen as El Gato Negro.
Neighbourhood Restaurant of the Year, an award for venues in the suburbs, was presented to Levanter, and Chef of the Year was Terry Huang, who cooks at Umezushi. The Smithfield Tavern took the coveted Pub of the Year title, but Food Pub of the Year was snatched by Eagle and Child. The Bar of the Year is Albert Schloss, with the team very happy to be presented with their award by Gareth Gates.
Heaton Hops is the Craft Ale Bar of the Year, and you can head to Pot Kettle Black to discover the Coffee Bar or Tea Shop of the Year. Those dining on a budget should head to Northern Soul Grilled Cheese for Cheap Eats of the Year. John Cooper Clarke presented the owners of Salvi’s with Best Food and Drink Retailer, and The French took another gong with Front of House Team of the Year. The Best Food and Drink Pop Up Event, Club or Project was Stockport Foodie Friday, and the Best Street Food was found at Chaat Cart.
Finally, The Howard and Ruth Award for Outstanding Achievement was awarded to John Slattery, for his contributions to the industry over the years since the awards were first introduced.
A Successful Festival
More than 100,000 visitors came to the Festival Hub in Albert Square over the 11 days of the festival. It was free to enter and plenty of people took advantage of the chance to enjoy food and drink from local business owners. It was a great success by all accounts, with higher footfall numbers than previous years.
If you are looking for food jobs in Manchester, be sure to give our listings a browse. Here we have a wide selection of opportunities, including those in the hospitality industry which would make you eligible for the awards next time that they come around.
The foodies of Manchester will certainly be paying close attention to the winners, who can expect to see sales rise as a direct result of their awards. In particular, there will be a lot of competition for chef jobs to try and take that award next year, as it is a real mark of appreciation for a chef’s work – the shortlisting panel includes Michelin supervision.