Manchester’s giant food hall and music venue Escape to Freight Island is switching things up this spring by moving in a host of new food traders.
Dessert shops Choo Choo eclairs and Soft Boi are going, as is Baratxuri’s basque country-inspired grill from the award-winning Ramsbottom restaurant and burger joint Patty Queen.
In their places will come some exciting new additions – such as Carnival, a brand new meaty grill concept from Hawksmoor co-founder Richard Turner; and Lucky Foot, a chargrilled and deep-fried chicken offering from the same team behind popular Liverpool spots Belzan and Madre.
With all the new traders due to all be in place by mid-May at the very latest, the revamped food market will open five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday.
Keep reading to find out who’s moving in – and what to expect from their menus.
Carnival is a new collaboration concept from food writer, butcher and restauranteur Richard Turner, a co-founder of some of the best grill restaurants in the country including Hawksmoor, Pitt Cue Co, Blacklock and Meatopia Festival.
Turner and the team will be taking over the grill of what previously was Baratxuri, following the departure of Rachel Stockley at its Ramsbottom site. The brand said on its departure: “After almost two years we have decided it is the time to move on to explore some new opportunities for our family-run restaurant so watch this space.”
Using the finest produce from a single producer farm, Carnival menu highlights will include fine cuts of premium rib, porterhouse and T-bone steak, as well as pork chop with apple tamarind ketchup, lobster with wild garlic, smoked beef short ribs, crispy fried scampi and potato gratin with anchovy and parmesan.
There will also be a limited ‘Front Row Seat’ chef’s table-style tasting menu available to those who like to see all of the action. Bookings will open later this month.
The team behind Belzan refresh their current counter this month with a brand-new deep-fried and charcoal-grilled chicken offering called Lucky Foot. Serving first-class birds, there’s no need to feel guilty about where your chicken is coming from here.
As for what’s on the menu, think fried chicken burgers, different salted fries (chicken, spicy, seaweed and plain), plus massive chicken tenders and sweet potato chunks – and that’s just for starters. We’ve had a little sneak peek, and already can’t wait to go back.
Known for their outrageously rich (not to mention ginormous) cookies and doughnuts, Manchester bakery Gooey will move into Freight Island as part of a new 2022 dessert offering.
Fans can expect to find specials like hot cookie dough and ice cream here, as part of an exclusive offering for the market, alongside the other tasty products they’ve become so well known for.
Manchester bakehouse Batard will join Gooey this April in catering to Freight diners with a sweet tooth, serving up dessert pies and ice cream to the masses.
Pitching up outside the Plant Room, the bakehouse will have its very own diner in partnership with Wildfarmed, a community-led farming system on a mission to fix soil through regenerative farming co-founded by Andy Cato of Groove Armada.
The one and only Burgerism will take over from Patty Queen at Escape to Freight Island in May, bringing what are widely considered to be the best smashed burgers in town to this corner of Piccadilly.
Fans of the brand can look forward to the famous ‘Cheesed’ burger with two smashed patties, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and Burgerism sauce in a brioche bun, alongside the mouthwatering chicken burger.
Feature image – The Manc Eats / Batard / Burgerism
Chorlton community rallies around local family in need after heartwarming appeal
A Manchester mum has been blown away by her local community’s kindness after posting an appeal on Facebook asking for help feeding her kids.
After her son’s Disability Living Allowance was changed, leaving the family waiting for a payment with nothing in the cupboards, Lisa Cerven took to the Chorlton M21 Facebook group to ask if anyone could donate some food to tide them over.
Starting by saying that she felt “very ashamed to be asking”, she continued to explain that her son’s DLA had been changed until next week – even though she was originally meant to be getting it this Tuesday.
She continued to say that she was planning to get “a nice big shop in” as both of her kids “eat a lot”, but as the result of her son being moved onto a new benefits system, they would now have to go without for another week.
Elaborating further, she said that “it has really really messed me up” and explained that she had “literally got nothing in”, adding: “if anyone has anything food wise spare I was hoping maybe you could help”.
The post continued: “My electric will be fine until Tuesday when I get £20 and we can cope with no gas for a while with blankets and stuff (please no hate).
“I have tried a few things and we got by until now but even if it’s just for my kids I don’t care about myself, anything will help.
“Again I’m terribly sorry for being cheeky, even any food banks that can deliver or are close to me that are open now, thank you.”
The post, first shared on Sunday, quickly saw locals pile into the comments section with offers of help.
From people running food banks offering to “send out whatever food you need”, to offers from locals to send a takeaway to the house and come by and drop off money for gas, Lisa has been inundated with support from all angles.
One person said: “Where about you are I will drop you some money for gas”
Another person said: “If you need anything I’m happy to help. Send a bit of money or take you do a little shop. xx”
A third added: “I can drop some fruit and veg off now if you message me”
A fourth said: “If it is any help I can transfer you some funds, it won’t be anything big but something enough for you to get yourself some warmth in the house as I don’t want you and your kids keeping cold in these difficult cold days to come.”
Within a few hours of the post being, Lisa commented underneath to say: “Turning the comments off! Had the most amazing replies! This community really is the best!!! THANK YOU to everyone xxx”
Speaking to The Manc about the donations she’s received, she added: “This community has been absolutely amazing.”
As well as a large number of people commenting on Facebook with offers of help, others sent messages of solidarity and support for her situation.
One person wrote: “You’ve got nothing to be ashamed of it’s the Government that should be ashamed. Bless you I hope you get what you need and even more to help you along a bit.”
Another said: “Lisa Cerven please please don’t feel ashamed for asking for help! I admire you for reaching out. Times are so hard at the moment, it shouldn’t be happening but it is.
“It looks like you’ve had lots of offers of help from the community since you’ve posted this but if you don’t manage to get what you need please don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll help where I can. Sending you my love xxxx”
A third added: “Pls never feel ashamed to ask Lisa, if you can’t rely on your community then we are in a dire state. x”
A fourth said: “I have spoken with this lady tonight and I must say I’m so proud of our local community who have helped her. It means so much to her and her kids and it’s took a lot for her to ask.”
Feature image – Commons Wikimedia
She wrote: “Hi I feel very ashamed to be asking but my sons dla has been changed until next week.
“I was meant to get it on Tuesday and was meant to get a nice big shop in both
Richard Keys and Andy Gray to give first UK TV interview since sexism scandal
Former Sky Sports presenting duo Richard Keys and Andy Gray are set to give their first UK interview since they were sacked for a number of sexist remarks back in 2011.
Once regular mainstays on the Premier League‘s long-term broadcasting partner, Keys and Gray haven’t made any British media appearances since their high-profile scandal which highlighted the prevailing sexism in football at the time and, sadly, is still underlying throughout large sections of sport today.
Now, after being approached by fellow controversial TV personality Piers Morgan, the punditry pair will be discussing the incident on national television for the first time in more than a decade, as well as reflecting on their careers since then.
Keys and Gray have been consigned to working on the Qatari network beIN SPORTS since 2013 after they went from being among the most well-known sports commentators to two of the most vilified public figures in the early 2010s.
For anyone still unaware even all the years later, the two Sky employees were caught making a number of sexist comments towards then lineswoman, Sian Ellis-Massey, in a leaked audio recording during which Keys remarked: “someone better go down there and explain the offside rule to her”.
Responding to the jibe, Gray responded by saying “Can you believe that, a female linesman… women don’t know the offside rule”, before his partner in crime responded, “the game’s gone mad”.
Ellis-Massey went on to become the UK’s first female referee and remains one of the leading officials in English football, having also adjudicated games in the Europa League and Women’s World Cup.
To make matter worse, a clip of Keys making similarly inappropriate and offensive remarks while having a conversation with Jamie Redknapp in the Sky Sports studio was also unearthed shortly after, as the lead anchor made a series of crass jokes about sex with the footballer’s former girlfriend.
Speaking in a now infamous BT interview shortly after, Keys insisted that his behaviour was “just banter” and seemed to offer little genuine remorse following the outburst.
Gray has also had little to say about his “unacceptable comments” in the years following, so it’s fair to say a fair few people will be tuning in to watch how the two approach this sit-down.
Andy Gray and Richard Keys’ Piers Morgan Uncensored interview airs at 8pm on TalkTV on Monday, 28 November.
Featured Image — beIN SPORTS/Piers Morgan (via Twitter)