Festival of finest eating

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Gluttons and gastronomes will already be salivating.

But when Sheffield’s second Food Festival picks up its knife and fork next month, it’s with a menu of events designed to reach far more than local tastebuds.

food festivaljd'Rupert rowley, of Rowley's in Baslow, who is taking part in Sheffield Food Festival

food festivaljd'Rupert rowley, of Rowley's in Baslow, who is taking part in Sheffield Food Festival

The July 4-10 event, held at venues across the city, is all set to be both an education of the palate and the plate for anticipated crowds of 40,000.

After last year’s first event – which finally brought Sheffield in line with other major cities who have long been celebrating their wealth of culinary specialities, local food producers, experts and chefs, the next promises to be packed with ‘real substance and values as well as fabulous gourmet food’, say organisers.

While the heart of the city will be transformed into foodie heaven with plenty of wine-slurping and food-tasting going on, there is to be a strong focus on giving people the skills and knowledge to eat more healthily – as part of the city’s Let’s Change 4-Life scheme to help tackle obesity.

A delicious array of events range from masterclasses to markets of local food. There will be more than 30 events specifically for children at the Sheffield Children’s Festival in the Winter Gardens. Picnics and community events are planned.

A temporary farm, complete with cows from Dungworth ice cream-makers Our Cow Molly, is to be sited slap-bang in the pedestrianised city centre. Passers-by may get the chance to milk a cow and make ices with liquid nitrogen, Heston Blumenthal-style.

Throughout the week, which is being organised by a team of specialists garnered from the City Council, Sheffield Hallam University’s Business School, plus local businesses, over 30 bars and restaurants will run special offers and chef demos.

The biggest and most vibrant producers market the city has seen will line Fargate and a real ale trail will celebrate Sheffield’s micro breweries as part of The Festival Real Ale Extravaganza.

In addition, 200 master classes and demonstrations will be staged across the city. They will range from gourmet tips from top chefs, including local Michelin- starred chefs Rupert Rowley and Tessa Bramley, to ‘how to’ sessions promoting home growing and family cooking.

Lessons in chocolate-making and cheese tasting are planned and an exhibition of 16th century cookbooks will be staged.

Organiser Liz Sharples, principal lecturer at Sheffield Business School, said: “We have served up a real range of masterclasses that will appeal to tastebuds of all types. People will be able to put what they have learnt into use in their own kitchens.”