To celebrate the launch of our new sneaker collaboration with Goral, we visited three Sheffield locals each with their own creative story to tell - and a pair of our sneakers on their feet. You can also check out our Sheffield Guide on Google Maps which pulls together all the recommendations from Fern, Jonathan and Luke.
Luke French is the Chef Director of Jöro, the Sheffield restaurant that he owns and runs with his wife Stacey that sits at 32 in the National Restaurant Awards top 100 in the UK.
How long have you lived and worked in Sheffield?
I'm originally from Cambridge, but I moved to Sheffield over 10 years ago to work in the kitchen at a gastropub called The Milestone. It wasn't the plan but I ended up moving up through the ranks over the years from chef de partie to head chef and then executive chef role across the group. I met my wife Stacey here in Sheffield and have made it my home and base for our own growing group of restaurants.
What should visitors expect from your flagship restaurant Jöro?
Jöro - pronounced Yoro - is the old Norse word for planet Earth. The whole idea behind the food is to keep it natural and true to the ingredients as possible, while also bringing in influences from Nordic and Asian cuisines. We opened in 2016 on Kelham Island - which is the heart of the old steel industry - in a building made from old steel shipping containers. I've always hated the stuffiness of old school fine dining restaurants so at Jöro the vibe is relaxed and welcoming for everyone.
This year we've also opened rooms just down the road from the restaurant. The House of Jöro gives visitors to Sheffield a beautiful space to spend a foodie staycation and it also has a private dining room for up to 10 guests.
Photo credit: Tom Shingler, Great British Chefs
What's the Sheffield food scene like? Any recommendations?
To be honest it's always been quite limited but it's exciting to see it getting better all the time. We're starting to see up and coming chefs who have been learning their trade in some of the country's best restaurants coming home to set up in Sheffield. A good example is Flo Russell, who was previously at Lyle's and Moro in London but opened Tonco a couple of years ago which is doing great things.
Other shout-outs have to go to Bench, No Name and The Orange Bird.
Any other Sheffield businesses that should be on our radar?
If I was visiting Sheffield for the day there are some great cafes, bars and also bakeries that I'd check out. For coffee I'd head to either Steam Yard or Corner Store, then grab a pastry from Forge Bakehouse or micro-bakery Box. Then in the evening for cocktails in a unique setting there's Public in a refurbished public toilet. Stacey is Hospitality Ambassador for Sheffield so food and drink is always going to be our focus for a visit!
What do you think of the sneakers?
I love the ethos and whole sustainability aspect of what you do at Billy Tannery, so when you got in touch about these sneakers I jumped at the chance to be involved. To be able to wear a pair of shoes made from your leather is great but the icing on the cake is that they were made by Goral less than a mile away from Jöro.
Exceptional Leather Sneakers - Made in Sheffield
50 pairs of our limited edition goat leather sneakers will be available to pre-order between 14th - 24th October. After this they will be made-to-order in Goral's Sheffield factory for delivery in early December, which also makes them a perfect festive gift.