What a foodie night!

On what must be the worst night of the year to get a meal out in Manchester, everybody who is anybody in the food business was celebrating their success at the town hall last night.
There maybe a few surprises in the prizewinners, but mainly there will be the acknowledgement of well-deserved praise.
But as the top chefs, bar tenders, food producers and critics sat down to enjoy their gala dinner last night – the unenviable task of catering for such an exacting crowd fell to the Manchester’s Fayre.
Helped by some of the city’s top chefs, they delivered a feast fit for the Oscars of the food world. It was hard to keep count of the courses but each was a distinct part of the evening.
As the Champagne was quaffed and the congratulations proffered, these unsung heroes managed to deliver courses as varied as salt cod (designed by David Bright from Luso) and smoked duck salad (designed by Jem O’Sullivan from Café Jem and I).
The highlight for me had to be the trio of desserts designed by Andrew Nutter from Nutters Restaurant (pictured).
The fluffy, creamy, cheescake take on Kendal mint cake was genius and the chocoholics heaven would have any addict falling flatly, willingly and gratefully off any choc fast.
The festival maybe over for another year but the dinner was a reminder of how far the city has come in ten years and a chance to look forward to future success.
See more pictures from the event at my Flickrstream.
What did you think of this year’s festival? Let me know below.

The winners of the food awards

Just back from the gala dinner at Manchester’s town hall which marks the end of the 10th food and drink festival. Here’s the winners from the awards – treat it as a to do list of places to visit in the coming months and you won’t go far wrong.
I’ll bring you more reports and pictures later this morning.
Restaurant of the Year – Gaucho Grill, city centre
Bar of the Year – Trof, Northern Quarter
Newcomer of the Year – Chaophraya, city centre
Pub of the Year – The Tandle Hill Tavern, Middleton
Chef of the Year – Alison Seagrave, Harvey Nichols
Healthy and Sustainable Eating – Barburrito, city centre
Coffee Bar and Casual Dining – Slattery, Whitefield
Best Food and Drink Retail Outlet – Out of the Blue Fishmongers, Chorlton
Family Friendly – Giraffe, Trafford Centre
Best Provision for Vegetarians – Dilli, Altrincham
Best Wine List – Harvey Nichols, city centre
Outstanding Contribution of the Decade – Chris and Ros Johnson, Ramsons in Ramsbottom