Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Eat Sheffield Awards 2011

Remember the Sheffield Food Festival in June? I do. I also remember the slight depression I slipped into when it was all over. Nothing serious thankfully, but after all that buzz and excitement, I wasn't quite ready to go back to work and get back to the same old routine.

But life went on and now it feels like a lifetime since I was trudging around Sheffield trying to cram in as many Food Festival events as possible.

So, when an invite to the Eat Sheffield Awards landed in my inbox, I jumped with delight (not literally... obviously... but you know... I was giddy). Another chance to go and submerge myself into the Sheffield Food scene. Best of all; I could get dressed up this time!

Walking towards the Winter Gardens I was a little nervous. There wasn't room for a plus one, so I was all on my lonesome. And as I walked towards the drinks reception I realised that it was going to be pretty difficult for me to spot who anyone was as I was faced with a sea of suits and evening dresses. Thankfully Abi of Street Food Chef recognised me, said hello and my nerves soon went.

The drinks reception lasted about an hour and it was great to have a mingle with everyone. Along with Street Food Chef's Abi and Richard, I managed to have quick chats with Komal of Fusion Organic Cafe, Joe Field of Sheffield Hallam University, Simon of What's On Up North and Niki Baker of Eat Sheffield who had organised the event.

With both wine and beer flowing (thanks to Thornbridge Brewery) and the music playing (thanks to Magic AM), there was a happy buzz and everyone was excited about the upcoming awards.

Soon enough we were called to dinner in the main lower ground floor of St Paul's Hotel. I was sat on the 'Media Table' amongst the likes of Jeni Harvey from The Yorkshire Post, Lesley Draper of The Sheffield Telegraph, Robin of Sheffield Blog and Simon of What's On Up North. All were friendly and chatty and it was great to meet other bloggers as well as some of the professionals!

The whole event depended on sponsorship which meant that dinner was another chance to help promote local food businesses. I did take photos of our dinner, but unfortunately I forgot to put the flash on and they're far to dark to post.... so you'll have to use your imagination.

First up was New England Butternut Squash Soup thanks to Glorious! Mains were sirloin of beef (Anglo Beef Processor) served with fondant potatoes and roasted veg care of Castle Market and the delicious Catherine's Choice caramalised red onion chutney. Dessert was a cheeseboard of Gruyere cheese thanks to Le Gruyere and Cafeology coffees were served with a bottle of Our Cow Molly milk to each table.

Then it was down to business. Notebooks out, pens poised, Twitter accounts logged into, the table turned its attention to the stage and waited for the awards.

You'll probably have heard all about them by now, but there's no harm in repeating the news.

Devonshire Arms owner Jill Swift with the Devonshire Arms chefs and Eat Sheffield’s Niki Baker (right)
Thanks Sheffield Hallam for the pic

Most of the winners I know and love. You'll have already seen me singing the praises of Fusion Organic Cafe, Silversmiths, Nonna's, Street Food Chef, Our Cow Molly and the Wig and Pen (click the links if you have missed the reviews) and the rest are just as deserving.

So all in all I think it was a pretty fair outcome. Of course, there are plenty more winners across the whole of Sheffield as the city's food community is constantly improving. This can only be a good thing for us diners, who are probably the real winners out of all of this!

Everyone had a fabulous night. Thanks to Niki of Eat Sheffield for organising another success in Sheffield food! For more information on the nominees and finalists click here. While you're at it have a good nosey around the Eat Sheffield website; there's quite a lot of information on there. From foodie news to restaurant listings, it's a good place to go to find out more about our food scene.


What do you think to the results then?

Any surprises for you?


  1. Since when has Latin America been part of Europe - LOL!

  2. Oh yeah.... Looking on the Eat Sheffield Website re this category they say 'Featuring heavily amongst this year's favourites have been the ever popular Spanish tapas style restaurants with votes for El Toro, Cubana, Platillos & La Mama other favourites in this category include Ego, Lokanta, Moran's, Kitchen, Mediterranean, Ottos and Zeugma'.

    Seems that the focus was on the style of eating - tapas/mezze style.

  3. Laura Florence B26 October 2011 at 09:03

    Hmmm..Aagrah? my snobbery over chain restaurants has prevented me from going there, having been to a few others in Yorkshire (and never being totally blown away by the food.) plus there are so many decent independents in Sheffield I've never felt the need. maybe I should check it out?
    love Our Cow Molly though. I remember them borrowing a costume from the fancy dress shop I used to work in and me eating all the samples they brought. yummers!

  4. Laura, I must admit that my favourite Indian restaurants would be East and West and Dhanista's. I know E&W was nominated....

  5. My vote for best Italian has to be Gusto Italiano - reopening on Norfolk Row soon. Cafe-wise Homemade in Nether Edge would definitely get a vote if it would open more than once in a blue moon.

  6. I'm really looking forward to Gusto Italian opening again... it's been closed way too long!

  7. Sorry I missed the dinner, but last week was long due to Light Opera show every night.
    The list of winners reads like our delivery list, well done to Dev Arms, Street Food Chef, the York and our Cow Molly and THANK YOU for supporting Local food
    Stephen and Karen (Moss Valley Fine Meats)

  8. Ah, I had wondered why I hadn't seen you there Stephen! These awards certainly are good news for you too as supplier to lot of the winners.

  9. Still trying to work out how The Devonshire Arms qualified for entry to these awards. Surely we have enough gastro pubs actually in Sheffield - I reckon that one of the real Sheffield gastro pubs should have won this award. Food at the Dev is good but it is outside the Sheffield boundary!
    That said, there are other "Sheffield" artisan food companies that are not actually in Sheffield but they wish to adopt Sheffield as their home to be involved in the high profile "Sheffield Food" campaign.

  10. Thanks for the comment Anonymous. For me, the Sheffield postcode is enough.

  11. Clare, the "S" postcode covers Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham, Chesterfield, Hope Valley,Dronfield, Mexborough, Rotherham & Worksop. Is every food business/outlet in those areas eligible to enter the Eat Sheffield Awards? I think not! I am just being mischievous but one has to think about the "bigger picture".

  12. I personally think that Sheffield could help those smaller towns by including them under the 'Sheffield' title. A restaurant in Barnsley needs as much support as a restaurant in Sheffield, but I can't see Barnsley being able to offer as much as we can - mainly due to the difference in sizes.

  13. Google S21 3RN and the results are Middle Handley, Sheffield.

  14. Just to add I have just seen this on the Eat Sheffield Awards regulations:
    Voting Categories

    "The public voting categories are simply your 5 favourite venues within the Sheffield postcode region"

    So yes Anonymous, every food business/outlet in the areas you mentioned would be eligible to enter the Eat Sheffield Awards. :)

  15. I don't think it's the size of the towns (Barnsley is pretty big), its getting people to come out here to them. We have some brilliant places to eat that don't get a mention and therefore go relatively unknown.

  16. Some interesting comments on this blog. I did say that I was being mischievous and it's appropriate that Sarah G picked up on the voting rules:
    "The public voting categories are simply your 5 favourite venues within the Sheffield postcode region."

    Now read what the Home page of the EatSheffield web site says: "EatSheffield is a restaurant association for Sheffield and the surrounding area." This why in the Sheffield Restaurant list you will find both Rowleys and Fischers from Baslow with a DE45 postcode!

    That effectively means that not all the restaurants "supported" by EatSheffield can be voted for.

    Natalie also makes a very valid point. What you find is that many of the eating houses regularly mentioned on Twitter are the ones people get to hear about. Twitter is a very good free advertising medium.

    The public should support their local eateries and food business no matter where they are. Go for the ones that use FRESH UK produce and not the ones that use frozen onions from China, fruit additives from Italy, etc. It's all very well making good "local food" but if the ingredients aren't fresh it defeats some of the object.

  17. Thanks for sharing this information about Sheffield University and Food Events,i really like this city in UK.