Telegraph View: Worlds apart but still artisan

Editor Nancy Fielder
Editor Nancy Fielder

Sheffield is gaining a well-earned reputation as a city where you can get the world on your plate.

Our restaurant, cafe and food shop culture is booming. There are tastes which I never imagined would reach the Steel City but are now just another part of a burgeoning scene.

I would love to know what steelworkers of yesteryear would think to a cafe serving oysters on their doorstep

There was little choice when I was a child other than fish and chips, curry or a Chinese. Even those didn’t compare to what is on offer now. The quality and breadth of Chinese cuisine is absolutely staggering, and it isn’t alone.

The recently revealed latest version of the Heart of the City plan contains a high-end food hall. Now, plans have been revealed to transform a cutlery work into eating heaven has been unveiled for Kelham Island, see Page 14.

The Milestone Group was one of the very first to set up home and show faith in the huge potential of a rundown neighbourhood. If anyone can pull off the largest independent food hall in northern England, it is them. The scheme is certainly ambitious with 13 separate kitchens, two bars, a cocktail bar and a restaurant.

I would love to know what steelworkers of yesteryear would think to a cafe serving oysters on their doorstep. What would the word artisan have meant to them? Probably absolutely nothing to do with baking or cheese.

Cutlers were certainly workers in a skilled trade, but what a world away from what we refer to today.

You have to take delight in how regeneration can bring in craft people who are the very best at what they do, even though their generations had wildly different kinds of skills.

They would have rolled their eyes at cocktails decorated with herbs and spluttered in horror at the prices we’re willing to pay.

But they would love some of the things that have been done to bring buildings back into use, and the positive message that gives for the place which still proudly refers to itself as the Steel City, thanks to them.