Chefs launch new city-centre venue

Chef  Lee Vintin
Chef Lee Vintin

The one-time Pollards coffee shop overlooking Sheffield Cathedral is to get a new lease of life as a café, take-away and function room.

The building – which later became Yorkies and then Caffe Piazza – has been leased to three experienced professionals who have big ideas for the place.

Lee Vintin, award-winning head chef of the Devonshire Arms at Middle Handley, has teamed up with fellow chefs Paul Gill and James Davenport, and former AA inspector Geraldine Williams.

They have been planning the joint venture for months and finally signed the lease on Monday.

“We should be in to start cleaning by the weekend and hope to open the first stage in a couple of weeks. It’s really exciting. I’m just anxious to get in and get my knives out – after we put the paint brushes away,” says Lee, who was also head chef at the Walnut Club in Hathersage, Bosworth’s Bramall Lane and worked at London-based Rhubarb food design, cooking for luminaries from Sir Elton John to Sir Philip Green.

The new venue will be called Eten (it’s old English for ‘to eat’) and will offer food of high quality, whether eaten on or off the premises.

“We’re four people who are passionate about what we do and have a level of cooking skill. It’s just about transferring that on to a plate, a take-away container or a fine dining dish,” says Lee.

“All three chefs worked there when it was Yorkies, so we know the place.”

Social awareness will be a key factor in the business: cutlery and cartons will be biodegradable and food will be seasonal and local where possible.

First to open will be the York Street part of the building, opposite the Sheffield Telegraph offices. This will offer take-away sandwiches, stews and ‘top end’ street food.

Next will come the café off East Parade, serving similar, informal dishes and afternoon teas.

And finally the upstairs function room, catering for private parties and a range of special events.

Lesley Draper