Sheffield chef’s new restaurant hope in daughter’s name

Daniel Foster who lost his daughter Gracie to Meningitis

Picture Dean Atkins
Daniel Foster who lost his daughter Gracie to Meningitis Picture Dean Atkins
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A chef whose four-year-old daughter died tragically is raising funds to open a new restaurant in her memory.

Danny Foster joined Rhubarb and Mustard, on Ecclesall Road, as its head chef after the venue was revamped last year.

But its owner, BrewKitchen, has decided to close the restaurant, with the site expected to be on the market later this month. Danny has now launched a plan to set up his own business.

His daughter, Gracie, died last October after contracting meningococcal septicaemia, and half of the profits from the planned venture - to be called Gracie’s Coffee Bar and Restaurant in her memory - will support good causes that help youngsters and families, including the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity.

Danny aims to raise £200,000 to cover expenditure such as start-up costs, rent for the first six months, refurbishment and equipment, as well as staff wages for the first business quarter.

Potential sites for the restaurant have been identified.

The chef believes that, if the plan comes to fruition and is successful, the model could be replicated.

“This is just the start,” said Danny. “I hope we can open more venues all doing the same thing around Sheffield and then the country.

“The restaurant will fit into the Sheffield market, at the same time offering something new.

“I have based my revenue on an average spend of £10 per head. This opens it up to the student market.”

Danny, aged 35, from Broomhill, has 17 years’ experience in the restaurant industry and previously worked at a chalet in France, The Milestone in Kelham Island and The York on Fulwood Road.

The unit occupied by Rhubarb and Mustard has gone through several guises. In 2009 it opened as Spice Market Café, changed to Relish and then became Smith & Baker.

BrewKitchen director Richard Smith said the decision to close came ‘after some enjoyable and rewarding years’, and would be focusing on his other venues, among them Graze Inn, the Cricket Inn and the Rose Garden Café in Graves Park. Staff will be offered the chance of jobs elsewhere within BrewKitchen, he added.

n Visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/gracies/gracies-coffee-bar-and-restaurant to help Danny.