What’s Cooking, January 2021

What’s Cooking is an update on all things related to CHEFS: the Culture, Health, Environment, Food and Society research cluster at Sheffield Hallam University. What’s been cooking since our last edition?

To start off 2021, be sure to have a look at our latest research blog out: a profile of Caroline Westwood’s research on agricultural shows. Caroline gives us an overview of her research journey and insights into how the pandemic has impacted on the world of agricultural shows, which are a fundamental part of local, regional and national food systems. Thanks very much to Caroline!

If you’d be interested in sharing your research profile, or writing a blog on your research, please let me know; we’re always keen to feature new authors, including PhD students.

Below, we have:

  • updates on recent CHEFS activities, including recent publications from Anna Stalmirska (on food tourism) and Caroline Westwood (on agricultural shows), and a findings report from Jennifer Smith Maguire (on wine farmworker heritage);
  • resources/calls for papers/conference announcements, and the usual call for content for the January 2021 edition of What’s Cooking.

Finally: a reminder of the upcoming dates of our monthly virtual research roundtables. These meetings are an informal chance to check in, share updates, trade suggestions, ask questions and bounce ideas around. No prep needed—just a chance to meet up and talk CHEFS for an hour:

  • Wednesday 13 January, 2-3pm
  • Wednesday 10 February, 3-4pm
  • Wednesday 17 March, 4-5pm

Zoom links and meeting passwords have been sent out via the CHEFS JISC list. Not joined the JISC list yet? See information on the very bottom of each CHEFS webpage. In the meantime, please email me directly (j.smith1@shu.ac.uk) if you’d like me to forward a meeting invite.

Happy reading!

Cheers, Jen


Recent CHEFS Activities

Anna Stalmirska has had her first article accepted and published in Tourism Geographies. In the article, Cultural globalisation and food in urban destination marketing, cultural globalisation is discussed as the theoretical perspective that proves helpful in explaining the application of food in destination marketing. Taking the city of York, England, as a case study, it is shown how cultural homogenisation, heterogenisation and glocalisation influence both the cultural landscape of York, as well as in how food (global, local and glocal) is presented and marketed to visitors.

Caroline Westwood has had her second article accepted and published in Event Management, co-authored with Greg Langridge-Thomas and Philip Crowther. In the article, The Royal Welsh Show: The Nation’s True Cauldron, agricultural shows are discussed within the concept of the value of these events. They offer a variety of networks and platforms for ‘rural actors’ to connect both through planned and less planned interactions and linkages within the event. These events almost act as a canopy of connections which exist far beyond the annual 4-day event, engaging people and organisations alike, consequently, co-creating network value.

Jennifer Smith Maguire completed ‘South African Wine Farm Worker Heritage Stories and the Potential for Ethical Value Generation,’ the findings report of a pilot study funded by Sheffield Hallam’s Developing International Research Funding Opportunities (DIRFO) Scheme and the UK & Ireland Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Seed Funding, carried out in collaboration with Ms Nikita-Marie Bridgeman as part of her MSc dissertation research for her degree in Food Consumer Marketing and Product Development, Sheffield Business School, and South African partners, Mr Charles Erasmus (from South Africa’s Wine Industry Value Chain Roundtable), and Ms Sharron Marco-Thyse (from the Centre for Rural Legal Studies, Stellenbosch South Africa). The pilot study focuses on the potential for South African wine farmworkers to take on a more active role as co-creators of winery brand value, and for wine farmworkers’ heritage stories to generate ethical value in a major export market (the UK). A review of research on how ethical value generation and value claims are articulated in the premium wine market highlighted the shortcomings of certifications as devices for product differentiation. In contrast, research underscores the power of evidence-led, credible, authentic provenance stories for achieving competitive advantage for premium wineries. Provenance stories are understood as outcomes of co-creation processes involving multiple actors all along the value chain, yet farmworkers remain a largely absent and unacknowledged group of stakeholders—both as subjects of provenance stories and as storytellers. The report shares findings from a five-phased qualitative, interpretivist research design, which explored the ways in which heritage, place and provenance shape South African wines’ presence in the marketplace, and the experiences, perceptions and evaluations of a network of stakeholders—farmworkers, producers, consumers, intermediaries—involved in the realization of brand value for South African wines.


Resources/call for papers/conference announcements

Online seminar: Bright Minds – Food Security
Thursday 21 January 2021, 12:00 – 13:00, on Zoom

Introduced by Professor Duncan Cameron, co-director of our Institute for Sustainable Food. Seminar by Mary Eliza, PhD student: ‘Hacking the soil microbiome’. Register here.

Hello everyone, I am Mary Eliza! I work with bacteria which live in the nodules of legume plants (peas, beans). These bacteria provide nitrogen (an element essential for plant growth and development) to plants in an accessible form. However, these bacteria face competition to colonise the soil and the nodules.

I want to investigate a potential solution to this challenge by looking inside bacteria. Sometimes, the nitrogen fixing bacteria naturally harbour viruses inside them which confer advantages or benefits to the bacteria. I am interested in looking at the benefits that these symbiotic viruses have on the survival of host bacteria when in competition with other bacterial populations. Do the viruses increase the competitiveness of their hosts?

Can they be used to increase the effective nitrogen providing bacterial populations in soil and the nodules of plants? If yes, can these virus carrying bacterial hosts be used as biofertilisers in the agriculture industry?


Call for content for the next edition of What’s Cooking

The next edition of What’s Cooking will be March 2021. Please send content (research updates, calls for expression of interest, relevant calls for papers/conference/event announcements) to j.smith1@shu.ac.uk by Wednesday 24 February.

Want to stay updated? Follow us on Twitter (@SHU_CHEFS), subscribe to the blog and/or join our Jisc email list: see information on the very bottom of each CHEFS webpage.

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