SHEFFIELD folk feasted on the city’s annual Food Festival, which is set to return even bigger and better next year.
More than 40,000 people are estimated to have taken part in the week’s events, beating official expectations.
Many of the cookery lessons hosted by the experts were oversubscribed, such as the wine tasting sessions and guides to foraging for food in the wild.
City centre manager Richard Eyre said all the indications were that the festival, run jointly by the city council and Sheffield Hallam University, had been a huge success.
“Our aim was that this was to be a festival by the people, for the people and we think we achieved that,” he said.
“We worked closely with food producers, restrauteurs and the community to provide a real extravaganza of eating - the attendances over the last weekend especially were fantastic.
“Events at the demonstration kitchens in Fargate were very well attended, including sessions on cocktail-making and preparing sushi.
“Last year’s was the first event and we hired an outside agency to take charge but we felt we could do better. We challenged ourselves to create a bigger and better festival and we succeeded in doing just that.
“Highlights included seeing dairy cows from Our Cow Molly in Barkers Pool, the sausage workshops and the pizza school.
“We had pop-up restaurants doing a roaring trade along with the Camra real ale bar in the Peace Gardens.”
Sheffield people could enter their culinary favourites in ‘best in show’ contests, while the Urban Farm and Gardens in Barkers Pool gave visitors a chance to see where their food came from.
Coun Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, cabinet member for business, culture and sport, said: “The response to the festival has been fantastic, with most events exceeding expectations.
“Although the final attendance figures will not be known until later in the week, early indications are that we have beaten our estimate of 40,000 people.
“It’s a testament to all the talented food producers and businesses that we have in Sheffield and a wonderful showcase for everything that’s good to eat in the city,” she said.
n Cindy takes on city food challenge: P20