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MFDF Fine Dining award

The twentieth Manchester Food and Drink Festival has come to a close, and it’s been another couple of weeks of celebration and success for all involved, and a chance to reflect on just how incredible the food and drink culture is in Manchester in 2017.

El Gato Negro has been involved all the way through this year’s MFDF; firstly as Simon featured as one of their 20 Gastro Icons; then by hosting a successful pop-up evening on the first weekend at Festival Hub.

Finally, as this milestone festival ended with the one of the highlights of the industry calendar, our team had an excellent and excitable time amongst industry colleagues at the prestigious Manchester Food and Drink Festival Awards at the The Principal Hotel.

We were overjoyed to be announced as winners of the ‘Premium & Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year’ category. El Gato Negro had been nominated alongside some of Manchester’s best and most exciting establishments and so we were incredibly honoured to have been selected as this year’s winner, especially after we won the ‘Best Newcomer’ category in 2016.

Many thanks to everyone who supported and voted for us this year, and to our incredible colleagues… we couldn’t have done it without you!

Premium & Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year at MFDF awards

 

Last night we were thrilled to be revealed as the winners of CityLife Awards 2016’s ‘Best Restaurant‘ category at a ceremony at Crazy Pedro’s in Manchester.

Simon Shaw from El Gato Negro celebrates winning Best Restaurant award

Chef patron Simon Shaw with Lucy Lovell and Simon Binns from the MEN. (Photo: Joel Goodman/Manchester Evening News)

El Gato Negro was shortlisted alongside some of Manchester’s brightest and best restaurants so we’re honoured to have been voted as the city’s best, winning with more than a third of the public vote.

In a city with as dynamic and exciting a food culture as Manchester it’s a particular honour to be awarded ‘Best Restaurant’, and at the awards ceremony last night – surrounded by friends old and new – we were reminded how talented and welcoming everyone has been since we opened in February 2016.

At the ceremony Chef Patron Simon Shaw said

Wow, what a buzz! We’ve been open less than a year but the Manchester public have really embraced us and been so receptive of our vision and offering. This sets us up for a very exciting 2017, coming as it does just a few weeks before our first anniversary, and we have plenty of exciting plans for this year. Thanks for all the support and loyalty from our customers.

Coming on the heels of a run of accolades in 2016 – gaining a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand, Newcomer of the Year at the MFDF awards, Lancashire Life’s ‘City Restaurant of the Year‘,  and debuting in Restaurant Magazine’s National Restaurant Awards Top 100 has been a remarkable and inspiring experience.

A huge thank you to our incredible staff, suppliers and supporters… we really couldn’t have done this without you. We are so proud of the team here at El Gato Negro. As for our customers, thanks so much for helping us to make us feel so at home in the heart of Manchester in our first year. We look forward to serving you to the very best of our ability in the future.

 

City Restaurant of the Year winner was El Gato Negro, Manchester. Photographed here are Richard Jones and Simon Shaw

City Restaurant of the Year winner was El Gato Negro, Manchester. Photographed here are Richard Jones and Simon Shaw

Another week, and more great news for the team at El Gato Negro! We were delighted to be nominated in the 20th Lancashire Life Food & Drink Awards in our first year since we moved across the Pennines from Yorkshire.

It feels like longer than six months since the magazine gave a us a rave review but as Chef Patron Simon and Head Chef Richard made their way north to Dunkenhalgh Hotel in Blackburn on Monday they had time to reflect on the thrilling pace since then: hitting our stride in our new restaurant in Manchester, further honing and refining the food and drink offering, and building the team to service the unprecedented customer demand.

ll-fd-2016-w-city-restaurant-of-the-year

It was a real honour to be crowned ‘City Restaurant of the Year’ at the awards, and to be surrounded by the great and good of the Lancashire and Lakes food and drink sector. A brilliant and inspiring evening, discovering more about how dynamic and progressive the food and drink scene is in the North West right now. You can watch a video of the event here.

A handsome restaurant that serves some of the best Spanish food found in the north. You could be in downtown Madrid.

October has been incredible for El Gato Negro. This is the latest in a trio of awards this month – picking up Newcomer of the Year at the MFDF awards and receiving a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand – and adding these in the same year we debuted in Restaurant Magazine’s National Restaurant Awards Top 100 has been amazing.

As always, we want to credit our staff for the win: this award has been earned because of the skill, dedication and hard work across our whole team. It’s because of them we’ve been able to make El Gato Negro Manchester what it is today… and we’re aiming to continue to grow and improve as we move forwards. Thanks too to our customers for all your support and enthusiasm!

 

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