Tantalise the Tastebuds: Sheffield Food Festival Returns!

Sheffield Food Festival is set to return to the city centre for its eighth year on Spring Bank Holiday weekend (26th-28th May). We caught up with Laura Holmes from organisers Events Collective to find out what they’ve got in store at this year’s tasty-looking bash.

We can’t believe quite how much we’ve stuffed into the weekend this year! We’re confident it’s going to be the biggest and best yet. There will be everything people have come to expect from Sheffield Food Festival – delicious street food, fabulous local produce to take home, talented chefs demonstrating how to get the best from your ingredients, free kids activities, talks and debates – but this year we’ve also added MORE street food, MORE Eats, Treats & Beats, a NEW Food Futures area aimed at food and drink entrepreneurs, a NEW pop-up tea room in Orchard Square, a NEW Supper Club event on Sat evening hosted by food festival sponsors Proove, the NEW Tastings Table hosted by Bullion Chocolate and all tied together by the BRAND NEW Sheffield Food Festival Magazine, available across the city in May!

The Eats, Beats and Treats Village will be returning. Pic: Andrew Musgrave

The big hit from last year’s event was undeniably the Eats, Treats & Beats Festival Village at the top of Fargate. This is our stylish stretch tent bar surrounded by top notch street food, which stays open into the evening for that ‘night market’ vibe. This year, the Village will open for an extra day, with soft opening on Thurs 24th (bar only) and everything in full swing from 11am on Friday 25th May. We’re working with Sentinel Brewing Co and Stancill Brewery, so the bar features some excellent local beers alongside the usual range, plus Mr D’Arcys Drink Emporium will be open throughout serving gin, prosecco and cocktails.

The street food offer in Eats, Treats & Beats is headed up by Smoke BBQ, serving their mouthwatering pulled pork butties, and includes returning favourites The Gravy Train (delicious gooey-melty poutine) along with newcomers Get Wurst (bratwurst, currywurst and vegan wurst), Wah Wahs (Mexican BBQ, halloumerito and churros), Fro by Joy (indulgent yet virtuous Froconut frozen dessert), Mama Tornado (spiralised potato snacks), and Canny Coffees (brilliant brews and rainbow lattes).

Our good friends at Plug have once again curated a fantastic programme of live music and DJs to feed your ears as well as your bellies. Highlights include DJs from the internationally successful Propaganda club night on Friday 25th May; a smorgasbord of wonderful local singer songwriters – Just Alfie, Sofia Vago, Jayrar to name a few – hosted by Plug Live on Saturday 26th May; another soul and funk Sunday with Andy H, Matic Mouth and guests on 27th May; all wrapping up with more from Plug Live on Monday 28th.

Andy H will be bringing the party at Plug

The Theatre Kitchen programme is looking really exciting with plenty of our favourite chefs returning to share more of secrets of the trade and showcase the fantastic produce available in our area – Tom Lawson from Rafters, Charlie Curran from Peppercorn, Vicky Wainwright from Marcos New York Italian, Brez Barwise from Sentinel Brewhouse will be just a few people attending. And we’ve also got lots of new talent – local companies Blessone’s Kitchen and Fula Flavour collaborating to showcase West African cuisine, Olu Babalola from Wing Kings sharing some of his signature recipes, Jane Stammers from Tipple Tails and Jane Cummings from Olive & Vine Wines on choosing the best drinks to accompany a decadent slice of fruit cake, plus Katy Fenwick from the School of Artisan Food showing how to make your own cheese and dairy products at home.

What’s New?
Brand new for this year is the Sheffield Food Festival Supper Club, hosted by event sponsors Proove Pizza, in the Theatre Kitchen marquee on the evening of Saturday 26th May. Their chefs have created a bespoke menu which showcases their most popular ingredients with a seasonal twist, while introducing new and delicious dishes including the Sheffield debut of Proove’s street food offering, with dishes such as Arancini, Angioletti, Crocché and Pizza Fritti all making an entrance on the night. Each course will be paired with painstakingly matched alcoholic delights including fizz, gin & cocktails.  Tickets for the Supper Club are limited to just 50 people and cost £50 per person, including canapés & welcome drink, 5 courses with 5 paired drinks. Check out Proove’s social media for info on how to get your ticket or call them on 0114 294 5185. Proove will be working with their social enterprise partner Foodinate for this event, so a proportion of each ticket price will go towards a meal for someone in need.

Proove Pizza

On Saturday 26th May, Sheffield Food Festival will be hosting a one-day programme of talks, discussions, mentoring and advice aimed at food and drink entrepreneurs at all stages of their journey, from embryonic ideas to established businesses. The Food Futures programme will take place in the Town Hall and features a host of experienced industry professionals sharing their experience and knowledge, and providing opportunities for participants to discuss their own ideas and challenges. Hear from Launchpad Mentoring, University of Sheffield Enterprise, Sheffield Hallam Business School, Bhayani Law, the NMTF, SweetSpot Hospitality Consultancy, the School of Artisan Food, alongside local business owners who are really blazing a trail – Phrooti, Mak Tok, Pura Panela and DiversiTea.

Also on Saturday, in the Town Hall, Bullion Chocolate will be hosting the Tastings Table, giving an introduction to the world of craft chocolate, taking you through the amazing journey a cacao bean takes to become a finished bar. Tastings take place at 11am, 1pm and 3pm, in the Town Hall on Saturday 26th May with limited places available. Tickets £5, redeemable on purchases of Bullion Chocolate on the day. Visit here to book your place now.

Make your own Bullion chocolate bar at the Tastings Table

We’ll be taking over Orchard Square to create a Pop Up Tea Room, with great cakes and bakes, outdoor seating and table service from the local retailers so you can simply relax and enjoy your cuppa along with some delicious, locally made, indulgent treats from companies like Bakes by Butter, Era’s Chocolate, Whipped Bakery and Ridiculously Rich by Alana. On Saturday, local street artist Faunagraphic will be designing a foodie colouring wall for festival goers to unleash their creativity, and there will be some musical treats popping up from time to time to entertain the audience.

Read all about it!
Last but not least, we’re really excited to announce the launch of the brand new Sheffield Food Festival Magazine on 1st May. Alongside a full programme of events for the festival weekend, it is stuffed with interviews, features and recipes from some of the city’s most exciting food and drink businesses. Look out for this FREE magazine across the city’s shops, pubs and bars in May.

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