How Sheffield's food and drink scene could shine with new 2022 capital campaign

“It would put Sheffield on the map” – that is the hope after a new campaign celebrating the best of food and drink in Yorkshire was launched this week.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 6:00 am
Martha Simpson-Holley and Dann Paquette at St Mars of the Desert brewery

Yorkshire Menu, launched on January 1, is a year-long promotion by tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire to showcase the county as the UK’s true capital of delicious food and drink.

It comes after almost two years in which the hospitality sector has been shut down, bound by restrictions and forced to adapt to survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some of Sheffield’s restaurants, bars, and pubs are jewels in the crown of Yorkshire’s food and drink scene, and with new venues opening across the city, industry experts expect it will only get better.

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Eddie Andrew pictured on his farm Our Cow Molly, Cliffe House Farm, Hill Top Road, Dungworth.25th March 2019 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Alistair Myers, co- owner of fine dining restaurant, Rafters on Oakbrook Road, Nether Green, said: “There’s a real buzz about what we are doing in Sheffield. “We have beautiful restaurants and beautiful scenery which puts us above some other Yorkshire destinations.

"I think the campaign would put Sheffield on the map. I have seen food pieces in the national papers that miss out South Yorkshire.

"You are seeing a buoyancy of new operators in Sheffield. It is not just the fine dining scene, we have got some fantastic casual restaurants. Eight years ago I would be disappearing off to Manchester for a meal.

"Now, when we have the snooker, Sheffield can be a place where people can come for a weekend and visit these fantastic restaurants and have a night out. “We also do a great proper pub in Sheffield. We have the best beers and now the restaurants are becoming brilliant too.”

Alistair Myers, owner of Rafters Restaurant believes that Yorkshire Menu could help to put Sheffield on the map.

The new campaign will focus on a wide range of food and drink venues across the county, highlighting the best street food, Michelin-starred restaurants, farm shops, tea rooms, vineyards and distilleries.

It is to celebrate highlights such as Bridlington being England's biggest shellfish port, Bradford the curry capital of Britain, and protected status foods such as Wensleydale cheese and Yorkshire forced rhubarb.

Dann Paquette moved from Boston, Massachusetts, to establish his family run artisanal brewery, St Mars of the Desert on Stevenson Road in Sheffield.

He said: “We looked at several countries for a place where we could be independent. We looked at France, Italy, the US - Sheffield was the last place we looked.

Eddie Andrew, milk producer and director of Our Cow Molly dairy,

"There is a built in beer culture in Sheffield, and people are noticeably friendlier here than anywhere else I have been.

"It reminds me a bit of Boston, where I am from. The great thing about the Sheffield brewery scene is there is no sense of obligation to anyone. We are not beholden to every trend.

"There could be 20 more breweries in Sheffield easily.

“The more people that come to Sheffield with food and drink in mind the more it will continue to grow.”

Rafters restaurant on Oakbrook Road in Sheffield

Yorkshire Menu’s year-long drive will feature celebrated chefs, food and drink experts, a whole host of celebrities and the magnificent team of people who create the delectable delights the county is famous for.

There’ll be themes such as Yorkshire on Tour, Eat Around the World (whilst staying in the county), mouth-watering recipes, food and drink trails, and a calendar of competitions and creative campaigns.

Eddie Andrew, owner of Our Cow Molly, an ice cream parlour at a working farm in Dungworth, said: “In Sheffield, probably more than anywhere else, the food scene is really integrated.

"We have got Eve’s Kitchen (an artisan cafe selling homemade doughnuts) on Sharrow Vale Road and they use our milk, cream and butter. We supply a lady that makes brownies and we sell them in our shop.

"I think the campaign will only work and give people confidence if there is real provenance in what they are doing.

"They need to be really clear by what they mean by Yorkshire food. Bakewell did it successfully with posters showing how spending money on local food benefits the local economy.

"One of the biggest things the Sheffield food scene has lost is when Sheffield Hallam University dropped Eat Sheffield.

"They just cut investment and gave it up which was really short sighted.”

The pandemic has caused untold challenges for the hospitality industry, with some venues across Sheffield closing their doors for good, and others forced to make huge changes in how they operate.

It is hoped Yorkshire Menu could help raise the profile of some of Sheffield’s best food and drink destinations at a time when many are struggling to regain the footfall and income lost.

Anyone can participate in the Yorkshire Menu campaign by sharing their favourite places to eat and drink using #Yorkshiremenu on social media.