2016 Festival : 28th – 30th May
Eat Drink Shop!
Another year, another successful Sheffield Food Festival. From 28th – 30th May, the city centre was filled with hundreds of locals, visitors and shoppers.
Traders stationed their stalls around the Peace Gardens and St. Paul’s Square, selling everything from beer to coffee, raw health bars to cupcakes. A bucking bronco sat outside Smoke BBQ, waiting to throw people off who dared to climb on and stay on the longest, in the hope of winning a meal for two.
Elsewhere, food traders set up shop around the stalls, serving cuisines from all over the world, from wood-fired pizza from the Sunshine Pizza Oven to Caribbean Fusion’s jerk chicken.
The warm weather meant Yee Kwan’s ice cream stand had many eager customers – but not as many as Percy & Lily’s, whose infamous Citroen van was attracting a queue so long it snaked around the other vendors. Nevertheless, people were happy to wait for their Lebanese dishes of flatbreads and soul food boxes.
The Winter Gardens provided plenty of entertainment throughout the three days. Families were treated to Food Glorious Food, a Sheffield choir of food bank volunteers. Children were invited to decorate their own gingerbread man, courtesy of Free Cakes for Kids Sheffield.
In the evenings, Village Screen hosted the iconic food films Chef and When Harry Met Sally paired with a three course tasting menu, where people dined under the stars.
The demo tent played host to a number of demonstrations, one of the most popular being the BBC Radio Sheffield’s “Ready Steady Cook,” where Paulette Edwards and Rony Robinson were the first presenters to take to the stage, teamed with chefs Darren Procter from Sheffield Hallam University and Jack Windsor from Castle Inn Bradway. After an intense cook-off, Paulette and Darren were voted the winners for their salmon dish.
Toby Foster and Amy Nagy went head-to-head with the help of Sally Morris from Regather and Marie Joelle West from Poppy Seed on day two. Following plenty of laughs and lots of banter, Toby and Sally emerged victorious with their slightly unusual chicken curry and Yorkshire pudding combination.
For the final cook-off, Steve Bailey and Jimmy Carol paired up with local chefs Tom Lawson and Al Myers of Rafters restaurant to create the final round of weird and wonderful meals. Jimmy and Al came out champions with a sausage dish.
Headline sponsor Approved Food demonstrated how delicious meals can still be made with food past its best-before date. To further prove their point, a vending machine was set up in the Winter Gardens, selling perfectly good food, all past its best-before date.
Crowds of people gathered to learn new recipes and methods of cooking; from curries with Allam Shah Ullah of Cutlers Spice to lobster with Oisoi, lamb with butcher Richard Taylor and Rowleys’ Adam Harper to 50 Shades of Beef with Lee Swords of Napoleons.
Following tradition, Sheffield favourite The Street Food Chef ‘wrapped up’ the festival with their famous burrito rolling competition and shared their salsa secrets.
The next day, the stalls had been taken down, tents were dismantled and the vans had driven away. The city might seem quiet once more, but the festival will return – ready to bring more families, fun and food.