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Chef Simon Shaw and kitchen team

Smiles all round as the team tonight celebrates a win at this year’s prestigious Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards, held in the spectacular settings of The Palace Hotel‘s Ballroom.

After enjoying a great Gala Dinner the gathered crowd of hospitality professionals – including our El Gato Negro contingent – settled down to enjoy this year’s awards ceremony, hosted by BBC Radio Manchester’s Becky Want and XS Manchester’s Matt White. The atmosphere was electric and the anticipation grew steadily as the winners of seventeen awards were announced. Our team was over the moon to be included amongst Manchester’s finest, collecting the Newcomer of the Year from the incomparable John Thomson.

Chef patron and founder of El Gato Negro Tapas, Simon Shaw says:

“This whirlwind year certainly shows no sign of slowing down and to receive the Newcomer of the Year award was really just the cherry on top. It’s a fantastic achievement having only been open a short space of time.

“It’s incredible for me and for everyone who has worked so hard. We’ve opened with a bang for sure, but there is still a lot of hard work to do. As a restaurateur, you have to gain trust. If a customer trusts you in your knowledge, production, presentation and the ambience you set – that’s why they come back. We are seeing regular customers in a period of nine months, which is amazing.”

Coming just a week after we were awarded a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand, and in the same year we debuted in Restaurant Magazine’s National Restaurant Awards Top 100, 2016 has exceeded all our expectations.

This award has a particularly personal resonance, knowing it’s voted for by members of the public as well our colleagues in the hospitality industry across Greater Manchester. We continue to be overwhelmed by the level of support, goodwill and enthusiasm we’ve received since we opened in our new home city, and we hope we’ll be able to reward such friendliness and loyalty as we continue to develop and refine our offering over the next few months.

More than ever, we’re indebted to our incredibly talented, hardworking and brilliant colleagues – who truly make El Gato Negro Manchester what it is – and our customers, without whom we would not exist. Thank you all.

Chef Simon Shaw and El Gato Negro staff

El Gato Negro awarded a prestigious Bib Gourmand by Michelin Guides

We’re absolutely delighted to have been awarded a prestigious Bib Gourmand in the 2017 edition of the Michelin Guide. This year’s ratings were announced today in London and the news came out of the blue for us. El Gato Negro was honoured to have been awarded a Bib Gourmand– recognising establishments serving exceptionally good food at moderate prices – in 2014 and 2015 in our previous restaurant in Ripponden, so receiving the same accolade so soon after opening our new Manchester restaurant is hugely rewarding. We’re even more thrilled to find out El Gato Negro is the only restaurant in the city of Manchester to have been recognised with a Bib Gourmand this year.

Our chef patron Simon Shaw reacted by saying “We’re absolutely bowled over by this, and so pleased to have been awarded a Bib again. It’s a fantastic achievement for us having only been open nine months.”

Securing a Bib Gourmand, plus our debut at number 81 in Restaurant Magazine’s National Restaurant Awards Top 100 has added to the excitement of our opening in the heart of Manchester city centre and has made 2016 an incredibly memorable year.

We would like to thank all our wonderful staff and suppliers, as well as our loyal and ever-growing customer base, for all their vocal support and hard work… without you we wouldn’t be celebrating this recognition today. Congratulations to all the establishments who have also retained or gained awards and accolades in today’s Michelin Guide announcement: we’re proud and honoured to be in such good company.

Chef Simon Shaw portrait

lovefoodgivefood campaign banner action against hunger

(Updated: a huge thank you to all our customers who helped raise £5504.08 for ACF this autumn by dining with us and donating during #LoveFoodGiveFood. This is a the highest total ever raised by a Manchester restaurant for ACF!)

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El Gato Negro are very proud to announce that we’re official supporters of Action Against Hunger’s #lovefoodgivefood campaign this autumn to help #EndChildHunger.

We believe in a world without child hunger, which is why we’re joining hundreds of restaurants across the UK to raise vital funds for the #lovefoodgivefood campaign.

Black Cat with pound coin for Action Against Hunger
For the next six weeks, throughout September and until World Food Day on Sunday 16th October,  we’ll be adding a discretionary £1 donation to each food bill – both in the restaurant and the bar areas – to contribute to this campaign. Together our contributions can 
help transform lives overseas.

Thank you in advance for all your support and for helping us make a difference this autumn.

To find out more or get involved, watch this video, visit the Action Against Hunger website and follow @ACF_UK

El Gato Negro placed at 81 in national Top 100 restaurants list

Wow! We were absolutely thrilled to pieces to be included in Restaurant Magazine’s National Restaurant Awards Top 100, regardless of where we actually placed. Just to be mentioned so soon after opening our doors in Manchester was a huge buzz.

As it was, when we heard we’d debuted at number 81 in last night’s awards ceremony at the Hurlington Club in London we were over the moon… what an incredible honour. We are thrilled and humbled to be flying the flag for the North, and to be placed alongside highly-respected and established restaurants in this city and further afield.

Coming just four months after we opened our doors, everyone here is incredibly grateful for such recognition from our peers – 150 industry experts from across the UK, including chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and critics – and so proud of our team for making this happen. It’s testament to their hard work and dedication that we’ve received this award: thanks to all our staff, supplier and supporters!

We’ll admit there are some slightly sore heads today after we had the chance up with old friends and make new ones at the awards ceremony, but we’ll be back to work soon to ensure we keep the standards as high ever and our customers happy as demand continues to increase at the restaurant.