City Food Festival declared ‘an outstanding success’

Seven Hills WI judges (from left): Liz Dracas, Vickie Cunningham, Anna Tebble
Seven Hills WI judges (from left): Liz Dracas, Vickie Cunningham, Anna Tebble

SHEFFIELD city centre came alive at the weekend as Sheffield’s second Food Festival reached a climax with a food market in Fargate, a farmyard in Barker’s Pool and a mass picnic in the Peace Gardens.

It was the culmination of a week of activities that took the now-annual celebration to a new level, with communities citywide getting in on the action.

Organisers were delighted with public support for the festival, with more than 40,000 people taking part over the week.

Some of the most popular events included foraging sessions and masterclasses in everything from chocolate making to wine tasting.

Focal point was the Festival Kitchen in a tent at the top of Fargate, home to a pop-up restaurant from the Milestone, cream teas from Seven Hills WI and a full programme of demonstrations featuring top local chefs including Nathan Smith (Old Vicarage), James Wallis (Milestone), Simon Ayres (Wig & Pen), Rupert Rowley (Fischer’s) and Jamie Bosworth (Gunstones).

The Festival Picnic also proved popular, with outlets set up by a diverse array of local restaurants, a real ale tent and a teddy bears’ picnic hosted by Fancie cupcakes.

Niki Baker, head of Eat Sheffield, declared the festival ‘an overwhelming success.’

“It was great to have the help and support of Sheffielders to create such a fabulous event,” she said. “I’ve had tremendous feedback from those involved, praising the camaraderie and volunteering their support again.

“It would be great to build on this festival for future years.”

Those who went along to join in the fun were equally enthusiastic: “It was great to see our city centre buzzing… A big thank you must go to the staff, businesses and volunteers who ensured the event was an outstanding success,” said Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of the Liberal Democrats, who launched the festival last year.

“Not only does it provide local people with the opportunity to sample a vast array of first-class food and drink, it also provides a valuable platform for dozens of local businesses to promote their quality produce, boosting our local economy and helping to sustain and create local jobs.”