From left: Howard Middleton, Charlie Curran (Peppercorn), Leah Culf (Westside), Fran O'Neil (The Austin's Group), Kelly Ware (Peppercorn) and Chris Wilson (Westside)
Great British Bake-Off's Howard Middleton unveils the winners
Each summer, there is one event on Sheffield’s social calendar that brings together the cream of the crop from the region’s thriving dining scene like no other.
A dazzling celebration of Sheffield and Derbyshire’s most impressive eateries, the hotly-anticipated Westside Restaurant Awards recognises the unrivalled talent that is on our doorstep… and this year’s event was bigger and better than ever.
Flashbulbs popped, wine flowed, and excitement reached fever pitch as guest host Howard Middleton – who flew the flag proudly for Sheffield in the 2013 Great British Bake-Off – marshalled proceedings, and announced a grand total of 16 award winners.
It was a fantastic party with a wide range of prize-winners, and the biggest smiles on the night belonged to Charlie Curran and the team at Peppercorn, as the popular Abbeydale Road South diner scooped a dazzling double first – Best Contemporary and the highly-coveted Westside Restaurant of the Year.
Other highlights of the evening included Darren Utley winning Best Young Chef. This talented whippersnapper has been cooking up a culinary storm at the Cross Scythes in Totley for the last three years and is already making his mark with his creative flair and passing on his knowledge to other trainee chefs.
This year, the Best Indian Restaurant category was so hot our judges could not ‘slide a poppadum’ (as Howard so eloquently put it) between the top two. So, in an unprecedented move, both Ashoka and Butlers Balti House were named as joint winners.
Elsewhere, the nominations list saw well-established eateries like Nonnas and Napoleons sitting alongside newcomers, such as pizza-haven Proove in Broomhill, that have made an immediate impact – proving the city’s restaurant scene is as thriving as ever.
The evening kicked off with a warm welcome from RMC Media’s managing editor Chris Wilson and Howard kept the crowd entertained throughout the evening with witty one-liners, while Westside’s publishing manager Samantha Warsop was on hand to present the awards.
The awards were held at Sheffield’s premier banqueting venue, Baldwins Omega, and over 200 guests enjoyed a sumptuous five-course meal provided by host David Baldwin and his team, with a level of quality that aptly reflected the evening’s gifted guests.
Our special thanks go to Fran O’Neill of The Austin’s Group, sponsors of the awards, who ensured attendees were in a sparkling mood from the off with a refreshing glass of fizz. Fran also specially selected one white wine, Las Condes Chardonnay from Chile, and one red, Pure Sangiovese from Italy to match the menu. These excellent choices and delicious food from the ever-consistent Baldwins, provided the perfect combination.
Though every nominated restaurant was praised for its incredibly high standards, they couldn’t all be winners. Read on to find out who picked up the region’s most coveted awards.