A celebration of food ‘from field to fork’ is set to bring thousands of people into Sheffield over the next three days.
From 6.30am today, work will begin at pop-up restaurants, culinary workshops - and at an allotment complete with edible shed and 500 pumpkins - to transform the city centre for Sheffield Food Festival.
Organisers mixed with chefs, producers and food-lovers to raise a glass to the free event, now in its fourth year, in a launch at the Winter Garden last night.
Niki Baker, regional engagement officer for Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam University, which organises the festival with Sheffield Council, said over 184,000 people attended last year.
She added: “I think it’s a bit like a cheese rolling down a hill, it has gathered momentum.
“People have really enjoyed the last few events so we want to see if we can go one bigger and one better.
“This year we have some different elements such as the Town Hall allotment from Green Estate which will show people where food comes from.
“We’ve also got a vegetable growing competition from schools, and on Saturday Activity Sheffield are coming to the Peace Gardens to run an egg and spoon race.
“There is something for everyone, and it really is from field to fork, we have the growing side of things as well as the cooking.”
One special guest at the launch was Howard Middleton, currently starring in popular television show The Great British Bake Off.
Howard, a manager for Sheffield Council who lives in the city centre, said: “I think all of this - whether it’s festivals or TV shows - that gets people having a go in the kitchen is great.”
The festival, which runs until Sunday, includes a packed schedule of culinary masterclasses and workshops.
Head chef Simon Ayres from The Showroom restaurant will show visitors innovative ways to use Swiss cheese. He said: “It’s all really about getting people to try different varieties of food instead of that takeaway lifestyle.”
See page 10 for creative dishes by Sheffield cooks.