Last night, the Manchester Food and Drink awards took place with 16 award winners announced across the Greater Manchester region.
Each of the shortlists was created by the MFDF judging panel in advance, before being put to a public vote.
Usually, there is also a “mystery shopping” element to the awards where judges also go and visit venues in person – but this did not take place this year due to the pandemic.
At the closing finale to a record-breaking year for MFDF, more than 450 nominees from the region’s hospitality industry came together at The Ticket Hall at Freight Island to celebrate as this year’s winners were announced.
Keep reading to discover who took home what.
Awards categories and nominations:
Restaurant of the Year
Shortlisted: The Sparrows, Adam Reid at The French, Baratxuri, Erst, Hawksmoor, Mana, Street Urchin, Where The Light Gets In
Newcomer of the Year
Sponsored by the Manchester Evening News
Shortlisted: District, Open Kitchen MCR, Osma, Pho Cue, Schofield’s Bar, Society, The Moor, Ramona
Bar of the Year
Winner: Albert’s Schloss
Shortlisted: Henry C, Kiosk, Schofield’s Bar, Speak In Code, The Blues Kitchen, The Jane Eyre, Three Little Words, Albert’s Schloss
Chef of the Year
Winner: Rachel Stockley, Baratxuri
Shortlisted: Adam Reid (The French), Eddie Shepherd (The Walled Gardens), Mary-Ellen McTague (The Creameries), Patrick Withington (Erst), Sam Buckley (WTLGI), Simon Martin (Mana), Terry Huang (Umezushi), Rachel Stockley (Baratxuri)
Pub or craft ale bar of the Year
Winner: Edinburgh Castle
Shortlisted: Beatnikz Republic, Cob and Coal, Heaton Hops, Nordie, Reasons to be Cheerful, Society, Stalybridge Buffet Bar
Artisan food producer of the Year
Winner: Pollen Bakery
Shortlisted: Manchester Smokehouse, Bread Flower, Companio Bakery, Holy Grain Sourdough, Gooey, Just Natas, Lily’s Deli, Pollen Bakery
Pop up / Project of the Year
Winner: Escape to Freight Island
Shortlisted: Eat Well MCR, Grub, Homeground, Kampus Summer Guest Events, Platt Fields Market, Homeground, One Central, MIF Festival, Escape to Freight Island
Neighbourhood venue of the Year
Sponsored by the Roomzzz Aparthotels
Shortlisted: Bar San Juan, Levanter, Erst, The Fisherman’s Tale, Porta, Oystercatcher, Stretford Food Hall, Lily’s
Food Trader of the Year
Winner: Wholesome Junkies
Shortlisted: Abeja Tapas Bar, Archchi’s, Gooey, Honest Crust, Pico’s Tacos, Maison Breizh, Tender Cow, Wholesome Junkies
Affordable Eats of the Year
Shortlisted: Abeja Tapas Bar, Chapati Cafe, Ca Phe Viet, Little Yeti, Lily’s, Mi & Pho, Platt Fields Market Garden, Rudy’s Pizza
Coffee Shop of the Year
Shortlisted: Another Heart to Feed, Ancoat’s Coffee, Ezra & Gil, Grindsmith, Grapefruit, Just Between Friends, Pollen Bakery, Federal
Foodie Neighbourhood of the Year
Shortlisted: Heaton Moor, Prestwich, Ramsbottom, Sale, Stockport, Stretford, Urmston, Altrincham
Veggie / Vegan Offering of the Year
Shortlisted: Eddie Shepherd, Four Side Pizza, Herbivorous, Lily’s, Sanskruti, Wholesome Junkies, Vertigo, Bundobust
Independent Drinks Producer of the Year
Winner: Manchester Gin
Shortlisted: Bundobust, Cloudwater Brewery, Diablesse, Hip Pop (formerly Booch & Brew), Northern Monkey, Steep Soda, Pomona Island, Manchester Gin
Food and Drink Retailer of the Year
Winner: Store Group
Shortlisted: The Butcher’s Quarter, Bernie’s Grocery Store, Grape to Grain, Isca Wines, Out of the Blue, Unicorn Grocery, Wandering Palate
Outstanding Achievement Award
Winner: Mital Morar (Store Group)
Feature image – MFDF
Police search for man who threw punch at Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith boxing match
Police are searching for man who threw his own punch at the AO Arena after Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith boxing match.
The man in question is believed to have vaulted over a barrier inside the arena just as the match itself came to an end.
He then punched a man sat behind him in the face, before making off on foot.
He left two women and a man he was with behind.
Police are now appealing to witnesses of the assault on Saturday 21 January 2023 to come forward with any information.
CCTV images of the suspect have been released by GMP.
They said in a statement: “Police are appealing for witnesses to an assault at the AO Arena on Saturday 21 January 2023 after the Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith boxing match.
“It is reported that then man (pictured) vaulted over a barrier inside the arena just as the boxing match finished, and struck a man sat behind him in the face.
“The offender then made off on foot, leaving two women and a man he was with, behind.
“Officers believe that the suspect is possibly from the Merseyside area. If you know the man or have any information relating to the crime, please contact GMP on 101, quoting reference number INC/0075491/23.
“Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to the independent charity – Crimestoppers – on 0800 555 111.”
Featured image: GMP
Salford police officer sacked for ‘depraved’ relationship with vulnerable woman
A police officer has been sacked after carrying out an ‘improper relationship’ with a crime victim.
Paul Banks, who worked as a PC in Salford, has been dismissed and barred after a Gross Misconduct Hearing on 24 and 25 January 2023.
In the hearing, a panel heard how Banks had advised a vulnerable woman to create an email account – which he then accessed to view images and videos, some of which were explicit, that she had uploaded.
He viewed the content more than 200 times and never reported them to his manager or the force’s Professional Standards Branch.
In the end, his own colleagues sensed that something was amiss and raised the alarm.
GMP has now slammed Banks’s ‘depraved behaviour’ and stressed that ‘there will never be a place in GMP for anybody who behaves like him’.
A statement also said that he ‘abused his position of trust’.
Detective Chief Superintendent Michael Allen, head of GMP’s Professional Standards Branch, said: “Banks knew full well that his conduct was egregiously wrong.
“By cultivating an improper relationship with a vulnerable member of the public who he met in the course of his policing duties, the officer has been deservedly sacked from GMP.
“Not only has he disgraced himself, but his depraved behaviour dishonours policing and undermines the principled endeavours of his colleagues, who everyday do a valiant job catching criminals and protecting our communities.
“Indeed, it was Banks’ own colleagues who sensed something was amiss and triggered the first step in a process that rooted him out.
“The prudence of his colleagues is to be commended and I am grateful to the IOPC for conducting an investigation that left no stone unturned.
“No decent member of the police service wants to work with the likes of Banks and there will never be a place in GMP for anybody who behaves like him.
“He abused his position of trust and for that the Office of Constable has been rightly stripped from him.
“GMP is a better force without Banks and we will recruit a new officer into his post who will discharge their duties with honour and espouse the professional and compassionate values of the GMP workforce.”
Banks, who had been on restricted since the investigation began in December 2020, was dismissed without notice.