HE is the master chef who built his reputation here in Sheffield.
Now James Heslegrave may have moved on but it seems South Yorkshire is following him.
The ex head cook at the former Spice Market Café, in Ecclesall Road, has moved to a two-rosette seafood restaurant in the North Yorkshire dales, and many of his old customers have gone along as well – at least for a meal or two.
“Over the last three months just under a third of all people eating here have been from South Yorkshire,” says David Moss, owner of the Wensleydale Heifer restaurant and rooms, in West Witton.
“We get people coming from all over but it’s unusual to have so many people from one area and we can only put it down to James’s reputation.
“We knew it preceded him but no-one could have expected this success so soon.”
He added the restaurant’s Facebook website had also seen an exponential number of friends signing up from our region.
James, aged 30, who is originally from Leeds but lived in Abbeydale, Sheffield, for three years from 2007 to February 2010 when he moved to the new place, said: “It’s flattering. I made a lot of friends during my time in Sheffield – but this is still a really lovely surprise.”