SHEFFIELD’S reputation as a culinary destination received a major boost this week with national recognition from the Good Food Guide.
The latest edition of the foodies’ bible flags up the city as a ‘culinary area to watch’ – with a record four new entries.
“When glimpsed fleetingly from the M1, Sheffield probably still means steel and cutlery to many of us. But take time to stop, for the city is developing a reputation for food with some very good, affordable restaurants,” it says.
Kitchen in Ecclesall Road is singled out for special praise, earning the accolade of Best Value for Money restaurant in the UK.
Consultant editor Elizabeth Carter says: “Sheffield is developing a reputation for food with some very good, affordable restaurants; I’m delighted that one of them has won an award from the Good Food Guide.
“Kitchen certainly is the pick, noted for its good portions of unfussy food at highly attractive prices.”
The news is tinged with irony for Kitchen director Adrian Walsh, who last week relaunched the company after liquidating it with tax debts.
“It’s been tough,” he admitted. “But this is fantastic – amazing!
“We knew we’d got into the guide but after two hard years it feels very good to get this kind of recognition. Hopefully this will take us to the next level.”
Chef patron John Parsons is thrilled to be awarded a score of three for good cooking.
The guide extols the virtues of the ‘energetic, down-home bistro’ with a ‘pared-down menu that delivers unfussy food at highly attractive prices’.
Other new entries include Silversmiths in Arundel Street, Wig & Pen by the Milestone in Paradise Square and Lokanta Turkish restaurant in Glossop Road.
Wig & Pen co-owner Marc Sheldon said: “It’s fantastic to be acknowledged in the guide. We haven’t been open very long but we knew we were capable of getting the recognition… we’re over the moon.”
And for Justin Rowntree, who launched Silversmiths with the help of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, the entry is a fitting way to mark the restaurant’s third birthday.
“When Gordon left us, he told us we were absolutely destined for the Good Food Guide and that’s where we should be aiming – so this is a massive achievement,” he said.
The jump in recommendations adds up to a record ten for the city, including the Old Vicarage at Ridgeway, Moran’s at Abbeydale, Artisan, Crosspool, Greenhead House, Chapeltown, the Milestone, Kelham Island and Rafters, Nether Green.
The achievement is welcomed by Eat Sheffield, which has been campaigning to put the city on the national gastro map.
Head Niki Baker said: “I’m thrilled that after so many years Sheffield is at last receiving some richly-deserved recognition for great food. Eat Sheffield continues to champion the local food industry – we produce, cook and serve up some delicious food in Sheffield and I’m delighted that more and more people are realising that.
“We welcome them all to come along and share it with us!”
It is only four years since the city’s reputation took a battering with only two entries in the prestigious guide.
Events such as the Sheffield Food Festival have helped to change that poor showing and the city is now competing with the best on offer in the north.
The Good Food Guide 2012 is published on September 8, priced £16.99.
lSheffield foodies can vote for their top five favourite places to eat in the Eat Sheffield Food and Restaurant Awards 2011. Voting opened this week: www.eatsheffield.com/Restaurant_Awards/