What’s Cooking, January 2023

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?


First and foremost, happy new year! It seems an opportune moment to re-introduce the cluster, which spans three broad areas:

  • Culture, Health, Environment, Food and Society (CHEFS) focuses on the socio-cultural dimensions of food and drink markets and consumption, and is led by Jennifer Smith Maguire;
  • Surplus Waste and Excess Food in Society (SWEFS) focuses on drivers and potential interventions to address food waste, and is led by Pallavi Singh;
  • Sheffield Hallam Appetite Research (SHARe) focuses on appetite regulation and eating behaviour, and is co-led by Jenny Paxmanand Jordan Beaumont.

Please get in touch if you’d like to get involved, and email Jen (j.smith1@shu.ac.uk) if you’d like details added (or refreshed) on our Members Page.

Research England have recently launched round 2 of the Expanding Excellence in England (E3) fund. The E3 fund is focused on the strategic and sustainable expansion of small, excellent research units that push the frontiers of human knowledge and deliver transformative impacts and enhancing, and enhance the skills base and diversify talent in any given disciplines. E3 funds are thus typically directed at staff recruitment (staff contracts and developing a talent pipeline), activities related to conducting research and creating a conducive research environment, and capital investment. We’d like to explore a potential CHEFS/SWEFS/SHARe bid, with our truly inter-disciplinary focus on food and society as the USP. The internal SHU deadline for expressions of interest is 20 January. If you’d like to be involved in this discussion, please let Jen know by Monday 9 January (j.smith1@shu.ac.uk) so that you are included in the planning meeting (date/time TBC).

Mark your calendars for the following upcoming CHEFS events:

  • 26 January, 5.30-8pm, on campus: Barbara Bray MBE will deliver a BTE Talk (for the College of Business, Technology and Engineering) on ‘Consolidating the population, planet and people: Food industry solutions.’ Registration and details here.
  • 9 February, 4-5.30pm, on Zoom: CHEFS online research talk on ‘Food, Wine and Discourse’ featuring paired papers from Meg Maker (on the potential for a more inclusive wine lexicon) and Joanne Hollows (archival media research on WWII cookery columns). Titles and abstracts to come; for now, you can find details and joining link here, or email me (smith1@shu.ac.uk) for an Outlook invite.
  • 8 March, 1-3pm, on campus: SHARe is hosting a ‘Complete and Finish’ writing event. Email event organizer Jenny Paxman if you have questions/would like to receive an Outlook invite.
  • 14 March, 1.15-5.30pm, on campus (followed by refreshments and networking, 5.30-6.30): CHEFS is hosting theEnglish and Welsh Wine Symposium, a half-day event that explores the current context and future directions of the English and Welsh wine industry, with keynotes from Simon Thorpe MW, CEO of WineGB, and Professor Steve Charters MW, as well as a tutored tasting of English and Welsh wines, and a panel discussion featuring a cross-section of industry perspectives. More information and the Eventbrite registration link available here.  Any questions, please email event lead organiser, John Dunning (dunning@shu.ac.uk).

Below, we have:

  • updates on recent CHEFS members’ activities (a recap of 2022 activities; a novel online wine tasting; a new publication on wine value claims);
  • resources/calls for papers/conference announcements (including a call for involvement in one of five working groups that ShefFood is organising, as part of their Bronze to Silver Award bid for Sustainable food places);
  • the usual call for contributions and content for the March 2023 edition of What’s Cooking.



Recent CHEFS Activities

A quick recap of our 2022 CHEFS activities, which included:

  • 11 online research presentations, on craft, authenticity, beer, pubs, children, food, storytelling…and more! (recordings available here, including our final session of 2022 featuring Maria Touri’s research on digital storytelling and bridging the food producer/consumer gap);
  • 5 research roundtables;
  • 4 new GTA/PhD students: Megan, Ufuoma, Nikita, and Gareth (intros to their research here and here);
  • 3 research blog posts (about plant-based foodsSouth African wine farmworkers, and the PhD by Publication route);
  • a new, recurring PhD blog from Gareth Roberts, as he develops his PhD on food events, and sustainability.

photo of the wine tasting, with participants (visible in the Sheffield Hallam classroom and on the screen, attending from Puerto Rico via Zoom), raising their glasses John Dunning and David Graham hosted a novel wine tasting in November, with Nanette López and Zoe Santiago-Font of UAGM (Universidad Ana G. Méndez) and students in Puerto Rico. This was a live, simultaneous tutored wine tasting of 6 wines, with the same wines sourced both in Puerto Rico and in Sheffield. They are gearing up for future tastings—rum, perhaps!

A new publication from Jennifer Smith Maguire and Nikita-Marie Bridgeman, with co-authors Sharron Marco-Thyse (Centre for Rural Legal Studies, South Africa) and Charles Erasmus (Wine Industry Value Chain Round Table, South Africa): Wine farmworkers, provenance stories and ethical value claims, in the Journal of Wine Research, extends past research on ethical value claims in two ways. First, research often centres on certifications as mechanisms of ethical claims-making; in contrast, we focus on provenance stories as devices of wine brand differentiation and ethical value creation. Second, while value claims are broadly understood as co-creative outcomes involving producers, intermediaries, and consumers, we focus on manual farmworkers, who are largely absent, as story subjects and storytellers, in agri-food provenance stories and value claims. Focusing on the South African wine industry, the article analyses a comparative sample of South African, French, Italian and Australian winery websites, identifying provenance as the dominant frame for ethical value claims, family as a primary anchor for provenance, and South Africa’s distinctive prevalence of representations of farmworkers in winery communications. The article then reports on data from two ‘storytelling workshops’ with Cape Wineland farmworkers, which generated resonant themes – community and familiness; expertise and pride – that align with extant winery brand stories, and dominant market expectations and credence cues, suggesting potential for farmworkers to contribute to and be more securely included and recognized within premium wine value chains.

Finally: CHEFS is delighted to welcome Samantha McCormick, our latest food-focused GTA to Sheffield Business School! Sam is a SHU grad (BSc Hons Nutrition, Diet & Lifestyle) and will be starting her PhD journey in February; watch this space for an introduction in the next edition of What’s Cooking.


Resources/call for papers/conference announcements

ShefFood, the food partnership for Sheffield, has launched a brand-new food charter for Sheffield as part of their Bronze to Silver Award bid for Sustainable food places. Over the next couple of months, ShefFood is bringing together food-based organisations from across Sheffield in five working groups to write a multi-stakeholder Action Plan for the city. The working groups (Food Ladders; Compost and Growing; Food Health and Obesity; Good Food Economy and Procurement; Good Food Movement—open meetings) have a series of workshops scheduled over January-March. Dates, locations, and details on how to get involved are available here; to confirm your place at any of the meetings, or for more information, please email <info@sheffood.org.uk>.

Call for papers: Third International Conference on Food and Communication. Deadline 15 February.
The third conference on Food and Communication will be held in Örebro, Sweden, 13 – 15th September 2023, with the theme “Communication ‘good’ foods.” By studying topics at the intersection of communication and food, the conference welcomes scientific contributions covering all geographic areas, historical periods, and methods, including, but not limited to food and: health; sustainability; ethics; science; branding/marketing; media; advice and cookbooks; governmental discourse; corporate discourse; professional communication (chefs, restaurants); politics; religion. Full information and abstract submission point available here.


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

The next edition of What’s Cooking will be March 2023. Please send content (research updates, calls for expression of interest, relevant calls for papers/conference/event announcements) to j.smith1@shu.ac.uk by 27 February.

CHEFS blog

Interested in writing a blog post? 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.


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