Chef’s natural cinema treats

TELEGRAPH FOOD'Chef Simon Ayres at The Showroom with some of his home made ice cream with Lisa Curran
TELEGRAPH FOOD'Chef Simon Ayres at The Showroom with some of his home made ice cream with Lisa Curran

ICE cream and sweets are a traditional part of the cinema experience but audiences at the Sheffield Showroom are in for a treat thanks to new head chef Simon Ayres.

Simon – who made headlines when he led the Kelham Island restaurant, the Milestone, to victory as Gordon Ramsay’s best British restaurant – has transformed the food since taking over the Showroom kitchen earlier this year.

And one of the benefits is homemade ice cream and sweets to munch during a film.

Almost everything on offer in the café is now freshly made on the premises and the array of ice creams and sweets is the latest result.

Simon and pastry chef Lisa Curran have dreamed up a range of exotic ice cream flavours including Bakewell pudding, strawberry shortcake, lemon meringue, and cranberry and apple sorbet.

Sweets include mini macaroons, biscotti, tiny meringues and fruit pastilles.

All are made with natural ingredients and visitors seem to appreciate the healthier, tastier new option.

“Ice creams have been really popular this week, especially with the hot weather,” says Simon.

“We put out the sweets for the launch of the Showcomotion festival and the kids just wiped them out in minutes. They went down well with the grown-ups too.”

Simon was brought in to give the Showroom food offer a new direction and he is pleased with his progress so far, which includes an overhaul of the café menu.

“It will never be a top-class restaurant but it can be a really good eatery in a showcase part of Sheffield.

“We’re aiming to be a bistro: quick food, good quality and a small choice menu with daily specials.

“We can see a big difference already, with people starting to come in for food and drink, not just for the cinema. We’re increasing footfall from the train station too.”

The next treat on the list for cinema-goers is a range of savoury popcorn.