What’s Cooking, September 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?

Something new! For the coming academic year, we’ll be hosting a series of CHEFS online research talks. Thanks to the advantages of Zoom, we have the chance to virtually bring in speakers to share their research on the socio-cultural dimensions of food and drink from around the world. Our first talk is by Warwick Frost and Jennifer Frost, from La Trobe University. On October 15th, 10am (UK time!), they’ll be joining us from Australia to talk about the gastronomic transformation of Melbourne. Details of the event with Zoom link are available on the CHEFS Online Research Talks Page.

Food, laneways and public art: The gastronomic transformation of Melbourne
Dr Warwick Frost & Dr Jennifer Frost, La Trobe University
Friday 15 October, 10am, on Zoom
Abstract: In the 1980s, Melbourne was increasingly characterised as a ‘doughnut city’ in which night-time activities had deserted the Central Business District. A number of strategic policy reforms paralleling organic developments in public street art led to the rise of a strong cafe culture which reinvigorated the city and which has become central to the city’s destination marketing campaigns. Melbourne’s cafe culture was particularly characterised by small independent operators presenting themselves as cutting edge and in tune with the latest developments in artistic culture and environmental sustainability. This presentation outlines these changes, the challenges they have brought and explores attempts by other cities to replicate them.

If you’d like to recommend a future speaker, or self-nominate to deliver a talk, please let me know.

After a summer break, our monthly virtual research roundtables are back! The roundtables 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 15 September, 3-4pm (meeting invite circulated previously)
  • Wednesday 13 October, 4-5pm
  • Wednesday 17 November, 2-3pm

Meeting invites (with Zoom link and meeting password) will be sent out shortly 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.

Be sure to check out our most recent blog post: Punita Chowbey reflects on her research with British South Asian mothers, and the complex relationship between healthy eating and time.

Below, we have:

  • updates on recent CHEFS members’ activities (findings report and webinar recording from an exploratory project on digital marketing, storytelling, and the regional wineries of the UK’s Midlands and North);
  • resources/calls for papers/conference announcements (including the ‘Digital Innovation and Wine’ CHEFS symposium on 13 September, and a BSA event on the lived experience of alcohol in social science research and teaching on 15 September);
  • the usual call for contributions and content for the November 2021 edition of What’s Cooking.

Lastly, some sad news to share: Deborah Harrop, one of the original forces behind the creation of CHEFS, passed away in August after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Deb’s food-related research interests focused on older people, care homes, and defining health and wellbeing outcomes; her humour, insight and capacity to bring people together were also key ingredients in the initial CHEFS launch events. Deb’s family has suggested donations in her memory to Cats Protection or the cattery that she used to volunteer at: Dove Cat Rescue Sanctuary. They are also planning a virtual book of condolences. Deb will be much missed.



Recent CHEFS Activities

Jennifer Smith Maguire and John Dunning, in collaboration with Sheffield Hallam food and nutrition student researchers Samantha McCormick and Piotr Hipsz, recently wrapped up an exploratory project looking at digital marketing, storytelling and regional identity in relation to the wineries of the Midlands and North of the UK. Information about the project, ‘Innovation Opportunities and Digital Storytelling: An Exploratory Study of the Midlands and North Wine Region’ can be found on the project page, including links to download the findings report and to access a recording of the June 14 webinar that presented some of the findings to regional wine sector stakeholders.


Resources/call for papers/conference announcements

Digital Innovation and Wine Online Colloquium, 13 September, 14.00-16.00 (GMT).

This event is intended for colleagues based at Sheffield Hallam University and Excelia, and forms part of the ongoing exploration of potential collaborations between SHU and Excelia. The two-hour, online event focuses on digital innovation and wine. Please register as a participant by 9th September (extended deadline). Details, including a draft programme for the event, can be found on the CHEFS event page.

Relevant perspectives on the colloquium theme of ‘digital innovation and wine’ may include but are not limited to: Marketing and storytelling; Destination branding; Hospitality and tourism management; Experience economy; Cultural production and consumption; Provenance, authenticity, and heritage; Sensory analysis; Practitioner and industry perspectives. Equally, colleagues with no prior research engagement with wine as an empirical field of study are very welcome to take part. Wine is a fertile area of research, providing ample opportunity for inter-disciplinary and cross-cultural comparative work.

Thinking critically about lived experience of alcohol in social science research and teaching’, A BSA Alcohol Studies Group Workshop – Wednesday 15th September 2021 (9.45am-1pm BST)

This half-day online workshop will be structured around the broad theme of ‘lived experience’ of alcohol, in social science research and teaching. To view the presentation abstracts and to book please see the information online. The event is free for BSA members and £10 for non-members. Please get in touch with the convenors claire.markham@ntu.ac.uk or kat.jackson@newcastle.ac.uk if you are not a BSA member and would like to enquire about applying for a subsidised place, or if you would like more information about the workshop.

New publication: Ian Taplin. 2021. The Napa Valley Wine Industry: The Organization of Excellence. Cambridge Scholars.

25% discount available for orders online www.cambridgescholars.com Discount code: PROMO25

This book examines how Napa became a pre-eminent site for the production of great and sometimes iconic wines in a short space of time. Unlike its Old World counterparts whose development took place over centuries, Napa’s inception didn’t start until the beginning of the 19th century, and even then struggled to identify appropriate grape varietals and find a market for such wine, only to be frustrated when Prohibition occurred in the early 20th century and practically shut down the industry. It was in the 1960s that winegrowing would re-emerge on a scale and quality that began to be noticed by informed critics and neophyte consumers. In the following decades, critical information sharing networks of owners and winemakers emerged, facilitating a collective organization learning that fostered a commitment to quality and consistency that would cement Napa’s reputation. During these decades, technical skills were embraced, institutional support harnessed, and demand for premium wine in America grew. This book is a story about this evolving wine market, about how key individuals were able to shape its organization and build a brand that would increasingly be identified as amongst the best in the world. It starts with an early discussion of what constitutes quality and how wine has been evaluated over the centuries, and ends by exploring Napa’s apotheosis and the current critical issues facing the industry in that area.


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

The next edition of What’s Cooking will be November 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 Friday 29 October.

CHEFS blog

Interested in writing a blog? These are usually 800-1200 words and written for a general audience in an informal style. Blogs can revisit work you’ve already done (e.g., highlighting a recent output/publication); discuss research or research-related activities (teaching, public engagement, etc.) that you are working on; offer your informed take on contemporary food/drink issues or policy; provide a profile on your research. If you’d like to contribute a piece, please get in touch with Jen (j.smith1@shu.ac.uk).

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.


Leave a Comment

Filed under research, Uncategorized, What's Cooking?, wine