Spring dining Upstairs@PJtaste

Our venue in Attercliffe, Sheffield has been host recently for some lovely lunches inspired by locally sourced Spring food. Here are some pictures and menus.

On Monday this week we were delighted that a lovely group from Rotherham based Ladies Who Lunch used Upstairs@PJtaste as a venue for a monthly meeting followed by lunch. Exhibiting were Lucy May Lingerie and Biscuit Bakery and all brilliantly organised by Nicola Smith of Simply Business Development.

Menu

Rosehip Fizz to start – PJ taste foraged rosehip syrup, apple sour and sparkling wine

Loin of Cod in brown butter and a miso broth served with barbecued asparagus and new season potatoes with PJ taste pickled nasturium.

Bulgar and freekah wheat salad with roast asparagus, preserved lemon and yoghurt dressing

Yorkshire Curd tart (made with Our Cow Molly Milk) with PJ taste grown rhubarb compote

Lemon Posset

Today we held our Ladies Who Lunch event at PJ taste LLP and we were treat to such amazing food, service and surroundings. Thanks to the whole Pj team.
— Nicola K Smith - Simply Business Development
A lovely buzz in the room as diners tuck into a delicious and light spring lunch.

A lovely buzz in the room as diners tuck into a delicious and light spring lunch.

Menu - a lunch for Wake Smith

Salmon Ballontine with a PJ taste Spring foraged salad
Smoked Trout Salad

Rump of Derbyshire Lamb

Bakewell Tart - Frazer’s Sheffield roasted Coffee with PJ taste handmade truffles with sloe gin centres

Thank you so much for the lunches over the past few weeks – they went down really well as always!
— Bridie Mulgrew Marketing Executive Wake Smith Solicitors



Spotlight on our Sheffield Favourites Hamper

Reflecting our local sourcing values this is a delicious selection of six items from our favourite Sheffield producers alongside goodies made from Peter and John's own local grown crops. At just £24.95 it makes an ideal gift for people who appreciate delicious, traditionally made food and drink. Great for Christmas presents but equally good for birthdays, celebrations or just to enjoy real flavour all year round.

Sheffield Favourites Hamper
24.95

Containing:

  • 8oz Jar of our very own raw Blossom Honey from our Coal Aston bees

  • Henderson’s Relish 142 ml Bottle

  • Frazers Sheffield Roasted coffee for Cafetiere or filter 250g, fairtrade, rainforest alliance and organic

  • PJ taste Chutney 113g or John's Pickled Chillies

  • PJ taste Sheffield Grown Jam 200g

  • PJ taste Chilli Chocolate Bar - Barry Callebaut 51.4% with PJ taste grown chillies

Quantity:
Add To Cart
PJ taste’s Sheffield Favourites Hamper

PJ taste’s Sheffield Favourites Hamper

Sheffield Honey – blossom honey from this leading Sheffield business made with traditional artisan techniques.

PJ taste Chilli Chocolate Bar – heat supplied from John's chillies grown in Killamarsh. John grows a wide variety of chillies which keep PJ taste more than supplied year round. We use a top quality Callebaut chocolate with 51.4% cocoa solids.

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Frazers Sheffield Roasted Christmas Coffee – Frazers 4th edition Christmas blend is 50% Ugandan Rwenzori Natural (Direct Trade) and 50% Peru Tunki FTO ( Direct Trade), Think Christmas Pudding in Coffee, with flavours of sweet dried fruit with a hint of citrus, nut, chocolate and lime!

PJ taste Jams, Chutneys and Preserves. Grown sustainably on our plot in Coal Aston all the fruit for our preserves is harvested through the summer and autumn and preserved to give us year round flavour.

Henderson's Relish - known locally as Hendo's, this is a spicy and fruity condiment, similar in appearance to Worcestershire sauce, but which contains no anchovies. It is made of water, sugar and spirit vinegar with a selection of spices and colouring. It is suitable for vegans

Great testimonials from our clients in June so far!

Its always brilliant to receive positive feedback from our customers and so far in June its been a bumper month.  We would like to thank our guests for taking the trouble to comment. 

We have had a great response from Sheffield Universities landscape department following their event Upstairs@PJtaste where we hosted 45 visiting Swedish landscape architects.  The Elderflower Champagne was a hit and we particularly enjoyed the traditional Swedish folk songs once the cash bar had been amply used!

Anthony and Jude Hinchcliffe celebrated a wedding anniversary with a fabulous outside party in glorious weather (once the freak storm had passed!).  We catered for many University of Sheffield events and enjoyed providing evening canapes, burritos, bowl food dishes and BBQ's for corporate clients such as BHP and Sheffield's BDP companies.  Here are some of the comments made by these people:

"YOU WERE AMAZING!!!
The party was brilliant and you just made it go so smoothly. Everyone loved the pizzas, canapes and desserts and you were so brilliant at keeping everything moving. Thank you so much.xx

Emma and Ricky – Wentworth Woodhouse  June 2018

We just wanted to thank you all for your hard work last Saturday. The party pre-storm caused havoc but your staff rallied round and went above and beyond to help us stop the marquee from blowing away and becoming flooded. Everyone from PJ Taste worked so hard to make our anniversary party so successful. The canapes , BBQ skewers  and curry's were all cooked to perfection. Everything was tidied away afterwards and you completely took  away the stress of the evening leaving Anthony and I to relax and enjoy our celebration.We would highly recommend you and look forward to using you again in the future.

Jude and Ant 16th June 2018

We organised an event and asked PJ Taste to be in charge of the catering. From the beginning they were extremely helpful. We had a limited budget and John provided excellent advice and was very flexible in delivering a first-class service. Their canapes and nibbles were delicious and we would not hesitate to recommend them to other colleagues for similar events.

Sharon and Adelina, Faculty of Science Mass Spectrometry Centre, University of Sheffield - May 2018

 Hello Tracy and team,Thank you so much for making our party so seamless. I really appreciate all the effort you and your team went to.

Alex Howe Marketing Manager BDP June 2018"

 

Theatre of Dreams - Sheffield Food Festival 2018

An excellent event all round The Sheffield Food Festival 2018 had at its heart the Theatre Kitchen which featured three full days of chef presentations, demonstrations and general fun.  We were particularly keen to see our Head Chef, Lee Mangles compete in a Ready Steady Cook style contest with Chris Hanson from Blend Sheffield.

Chris Hanson from Blend Sheffield, and Lee Mangles from PJ taste line up with representatives from Food Cycle and compère Justin Rowntree from SweetSpot Hospitality Consulting 

Chris Hanson from Blend Sheffield, and Lee Mangles from PJ taste line up with representatives from Food Cycle and compère Justin Rowntree from SweetSpot Hospitality Consulting 

In the event the session turned out to be a great education for us all about some of the excellent community food initiatives taking place in Sheffield.  Justin Rowntree from Sweetspot Hospitality Consulting did an entertaining and at the same time informative job of controlling the chefs and linking up with representatives from Food Cycle.

After receiving a bag of beautiful seasonal vegetables from Food Cycles the Chefs quickly put together their thoughts on a menu.  Both decided on two dishes, Lee a slightly more simple chargrilled asparagus and halloumi stater with a Thia curry and Chris with an ambitious bread making challenge.  This he was pairing with homemade baked beans and a courgette fritter.

As the Chefs got to work we heard from Food Cycle.  In Sheffield they currently have projects at Gleadless, Firth Park and Lowedges as well as Sharrow and St Barts.  Using donated food and volunteers they produce meals for homeless people and others in local communities.  It was clear that this is done with great passion by all the people involved and helps bring food in as a highly positive social tool both in its consumption and preparation.  They are keen to attract more volunteers and people who wish to be involved through donation of food or simply to take part in the whole community aspect.

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With time running out the Chefs started to plate up.  Justin putting Chris off his train of thought (and perhaps slightly cheekily pointing out that Chris was not good at mutli-tasking) questioned him about his forthcoming restaurant opening.  Blend soon to be on Pinstone Street on the site of the old Fusion shop, is a social enterprise with a vision to use cuisine and hospitality enhance people's lives.  Chris shared his passion for the venture and we were able to meet some of the staff who are having the opportunity of employment and a way into work that they may not normally be afforded.  We wish Chris and his team all the best for their opening.

Having been impressed by the community work going on around us the result of the contest was becoming less important than the overall celebration of food.  However, for the record the appointed judge on the day awarded a narrow victory to Lee, despite Chris's heroic and impressive effort at producing flat bread as well as his two dishes in half an hour!

A big thanks to the contestants, Food Cycle the Sheffield Food Festival and Justin for providing such great entertainment.

Unique conference and training venue in Sheffield

Located in Attercliffe just a few minutes drive from Sheffield city centre, Upstairs@PJtaste offers a flexible meeting, dining and event space.  Ideal for conferences, company presentations and training courses our on site chefs serve delicious locally sourced food.

Seating up to 120 people theatre style or up to 100 for lunch or dinner dining we can create unique menus and packages depending on your conference theme or celebratory event.

We have some free parking which can be reserved in advance as well as plenty of free on street parking.  Sheffield's supertram stops a couple of minutes walk away at the Woodburn Road stop and bus routes are available outside the building.

Sheffield hampers - last posting day - Wednesday 20th December 2017

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Our range of Christmas hampers all contain delicious, locally sourced foodie gifts.  Starting at £24.95 for the Sheffield Favourite, the luxury hamper at £125 shown above comes in its own quality wicker basket and contains the following:

  • Sheffield Honey 12oz jar
  • Henderson’s Relish 142ml
  • Sheffield Cook Book - "Second Helpings"
  • PJ taste Preserve 12oz
  • PJ taste Chutney 12oz
  • 12 PJ taste handmade Chocolate Truffles 
  • Frazers Sheffield Roasted Triple Certified Coffee 250g
  • PJ taste luxury Christmas Pudding
  • John's Pickled Killamarsh Chillies
  • 20cl Sir Robin of Locksley Gin - distilled in Sheffield
  • 275ml PJ taste locally foraged rosehip syrup
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The last posting day for UK deliveries in time for Christmas is Wednesday 20th December so to ensure your order arrives in time please place with us by close of business on Tuesday - thats tomorrow as I write!  Happy Christmas.

The art of cheese making at Cow Close Farm

The innovative Stanage Millstone Cheese by Cow Close Farm

The innovative Stanage Millstone Cheese by Cow Close Farm

Nestled beneath the majestic Stanage Edge at Cow Close farm, Sophie and James Summerlin are doing something wonderful. They are making great cheese from high quality local milk pouring all their passion and energy into the mix.

The PJ taste chef team visited on the 6th of November to learn more about the process and to witness a batch of cheese making in progress.

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Arriving at the farm it was clear that the family are making all round improvements to the farm.  It was great to see the new tree planting, the activity around the duck pond, and the developing orchard.  Careful driving skills were also needed to nudge past the sheep guarding the car parking area!

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After donning protective coats and hats and using the hand washing facilities we entered the purpose built production area.  James was an excellent guide and over the next 2 hours he gave us a fasinating insight into the art and science of their cheese making.  The science is based around the alchemy of fermentation governed by the bacterial yeast and cutlures used combined with time, temperature and humidity.  However, as James explained not every batch reacts in the same way even thought the scientific variables appear to be identical.  I guess this is where the art of the cheesemaker comes in.  Over the course of the afternoon it became apparent that the art involves the sum of lots of actions and decisions that the cheese maker takes.  Many of these are I guess made subconciously based on their experience and intuition.

But back to the science James outlined how a typical day in the creamery goes.  With an early start of around 7am, 550lt of fresh milk is collected from a neighbouring farm. This is transported back in the purpose made stainless tank and immediately transferred to the creamery ready to be put through the continuous pasteurising machine. This is designed to bring any bacterial counts down to way below any prescribed limits and samples are taken and calibration checks made to ensure this is happening. 

The milk is now held in the temperature controlled creamery, a warm and humid atmospher with the particular aroma of fermenting milk a heady mix of rich cream with a lactic tang.  James then runs of batches of milk into mobile tanks and adds the important cultures of bacteria and rennet.  Incredibly small amounts are used (as small as 3g in the entire 550lt batch) but this given these conditions rapidly multiples and starts to form the milk into curds.

Ever watchful of the time James then cuts the curds to start the process of separating them from the whey which is a clear liquid which although a by product still contains some nutrition.  This goes to the hungry on site pigs which are a cross between Ironage and Glousters.  On our visit we nominated Adam as the whey taster - he was not too keen on its already acidic flavour!

When James was happy with the consistency of the curd the next crucial stage was filling the moulds.  He expained that these had been designed and made specifically for their trademark Stanage Millstone Cheese by Sophie.  Quite an ingenious design which allows the central tube to be removed later in the process to leave the millstone effect.  Whilst on the moulding table excess whey is still being dispensed with through the open mesh floor, a process which is further encouraged by a mid way turn of the moulds.  Quite a skilled operation and repetitive given the volumn being made.

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On to another table to free up the moulding table for the next batch we got our opportunity to help with a further turn.  This operation was not as easy as it looked given that the cheese was still in a semi set form and a dextorous touch was needed.

When James and Sophie are happy with the consistency of the cheese they are transfered to the "hastener", a humidity and temperature controlled space which gives them an overnight opportunity to continue the crucial formative fermentation.  The following day the cheese are transfered to a special maturing refrigerator which is set to maintain a constant 13C at a very high level of humidity.  It is here that the flora of penicillin and yeasts from previous batches work their magic and start to build up the distinctive white bloom of mould on the surface.  This is the Penicillium bacteria and is perfectly space to eat unless you are unlucky enough to have a specific allergy to this mould.

Over the next week this process continues with some sweeps through the shelves to hand pat down the mould to ensure that it is evenly spread over the cheeses.  It is during this time that the cheese is ripening from the outside in, the initially chalky white interior being turned in to the more liquid and distinctive great tasting cheese.  After 5-6 days the cheeses are wrapped and tranfered to a larger walk in fridge where further maturing for around 3 weeks takes place.  Again conditions of storage are crucial and the humidity levels have to be kept at around 70%.

At this point in the day James brought out a number of cheeses at different stages of ripeness and we were able to sample them to see how the flavours were developing.  We also got the chance for a sneak tasting of a blue cheese version which was a pleasant and interesting development of the original flavour.  Whilst the couple were not happy with the level of blue mould that had built at the time of our visit,  I am sure they will work hard to bring this new cheese to market at some point soon. 

With our day drawing to a close we made our way back to Sheffield, enjoying the sunset from Stanage Edge and full of admiration for the dedication and hard work which James and Sophie put into every cheese.  We thank them for their generous hospitality and for sharing so much of this fasinating process.

Beautifully ripe stanage millstone cheese with pj taste sourdough and red onion marmalade

Beautifully ripe stanage millstone cheese with pj taste sourdough and red onion marmalade

Stanage Millstone Cheese is available at these stockists and you can often catch James and Sophie at Sheffield and surrounding area Farmers Markets.  There is some additional slightly more technical explnations of the science in this Guardian article and here from the Reluctant Gourmand.

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting, Dining and Event Venue - Our Launch Party - Upstairs@PJtaste

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We were proud that on the 3rd November Sheffield's Lord Mayor, Councillor Anne Murphy, took the time to help us officially mark the opening of our refurbished meeting, dining and event space. 

With an audience of invited local Sheffield people representing the people who had worked on the project, past staff and customers we enjoyed a PJ taste afternoon tea and a sparkling toast made with local foraged cherry vodka.

Guests included Chris Wade from Architects Burnell Biercliffe, Stephen Thompson from Moss Valley Fine Foods, Jill White from Andy Hanselman Consulting and Ollie Allen the talented young carpenter who designed and installed the ash stair rail.  Paul and Rob Rogers the main builders were also present and without their dedication many of the clever design features would not have been included.  Indeed the Lord Major commented on how impressed she was that the refurbishment had embraced all things Sheffield which extended to the Daniels Bros who made the tables from reused pallets at the Portland Works and even the sound system which was made by Cloud Electronics based 200 yards from the premises on Staniforth Road!

Peter Moulam who along with John Fitzpatrick formed the company in 2006 said “After many years providing creative locally sourced food at venues throughout the city its great to be planning events in our own space. Having full control of the food, service and venue we can really push the boundaries to showcase our trademark locally sourced and increasingly own grown produce. We are looking forward to hosting a range of local business meetings, training events and presentations as well as private dining, weddings and parties. Our full liquour and entertainment license along with our flexible and individual approach will give our guests the great choice.

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The final detail of the whole project was the bespoke ash handrail made to complete the new staircase. Sourcing most of the wood from PJ taste's own plot and from a forest garden in Doncaster and Ollie Allen a talented local tradesman designed and installed this impressive feature. Using this project as part of his portfolio it was great to see him winning the Carpenter of the Year 2017.

 

Our Meeting and Dining Venue - finishing touches

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This week Ollie Allen has been cutting the Ash from the plot they look after near Doncaster to create the bespoke handrails for our new staircase. Not only is it exciting to be collaborating with such a creative guy but it will be the last element before we can officially open our new venue!  We are looking forward to welcoming the first guests who will be enjoying the unique space to hold a traning session.  Our Chefs table for lunch promises to be a highlight!

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I am also pleased to be contributing so some ash poles cut from our own plot last year.  These have some great natural kinks as well as angles from their original grafting joints so will help navigate around the contours of the staircase.

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Looking forward to sharing pictures of the finished creation.

Swarming Times - our local honey bees

It was action stations this morning as on my usual morning round in the garden I spotted a large swarm of honey bees in the old oak tree.

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In all probability these are from one of my two hives, which if so are indicative of a novice bee keeper having not be aware of its imminence or taken suitable preventative action. Actually I had observed that the hive from the swarm I caught in Heeley in May was going through strange times. I had seen a number of what I felt were supercedure cells being made in it. These are contructed by the female worker bees when they sense their current queen is starting to fail, that is her egg laying performace is deterioating and so threatens the future survival of the colony.

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Further than this eight days ago I had actually spotted what I assumed was a newly hatched queen and heared her “piping”. The video below has a small segment of this amazing vocal performace right at the beginning – its actually just two hoots from what was a quite prolonged and loud experience - you have to listen hard in the first two seconds!  My thought at this time was to leave well alone feeling that it was late in the year for a swarm ,the numbers of bees in this hive was not huge and that this new queen would take over in a perfect supercedure. This is a term bee keepers use for the situation where the new and old queen can actually live together for a period.  Its perfect as it reduces the gap between the old queen stopping laying and the new starting to lay new eggs.

I managed to catch the swarm by cutting down the branch to which they were attached attempting to drop this into a large cardborad box I positioned below. This did not go quite to plan with most of the branch missing the box meaning there was a lot of extra scooping to do in the undergrowth. I transferred the bees from the box into a “nuc” hive (a smaller specially designed bee hive for new colonies). Meanwhile “loose” bees were forming another smaller swarm on a branch close to the one I cut meaning another adventure up the ladder.

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I hope that I have got the queen and that the bees are happy to settle in this new home. If so there is a chance that I will increase my colony number to 3, giving more beneficial pollinators for the garden and beyond and the possibility of a local honey crop next year.

Our Meeting and Dining Venue Refurbishment Update #3

Having stripped the building back to the brickwork the excellent builders from Farlwood have progressed really well in the last week fitting thick insulated boards in the roof and all the walls.  Its amazing to see the skill of the plasterers as they complete a perfectly smooth finish to these surfaces.

Richard Hewins finishing the plastering

Richard Hewins finishing the plastering

A really interesting discovery has been a set of mermaid like gargoyles found embedded in the concrete running up the side of the staircase.  These have only been discovered as this old staircase is being removed.  Five of the cast iron figures were found behind a couple of layers of plaster mounted every foot or so onto a timber backing board.  At least a further three appear to be fixed behind a steel beam across the head of the stairs.  As this part is to be removed too we shall see if we can recover any more.  We would love to hear from anyone with any thoughts about what or why these were here.  In the meantime we are going to have a go at refurbishing them - some are missing various parts and all need a good clean.

Aside from the building work we have been planning the interior details.  Its great to have skilled suppliers so close on hand.  Aries Lighting in Darnall is working with us on some feature large hanging pendants, Full Volume looking at the AV installation with speakers made at Cloud Electronics (both based 2 minutes walk away) and the Daniel Bros are working on tables, curved feature walls and window sills!

Our Meeting and Dining Venue Refurbishment Update

Work has continued over the Christmas break taking the space on the first floor of our base at 54 Staniforth Road, Sheffield, back to its bare shell.  We will soon be ready to start the re-building to create our 100 seat meeting, dining and event venue.  Excitingly we have revealed the large roof trusses and the layers of paint added over many years are being stripped away.  The natural wood below has a lovely grain and should work well with the tables we are making from re-used pallets.  See our previous post for pictures.

The next job will be to remove the old plaster from the walls so that we can add thick layers of insulation both to the walls and the roof space to ensure our guests are toasty warm but also to minimise heating inputs and their environmental impacts.

Our electricians have already been busy and have actually completed their first fix to the first floor.  Theres over a mile of cable already gone in across the electrical, lighting, fire, security, audio, data and phone cables!  Great that they still look so happy!

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So progress but still lots to do!  Although its hard to imagine at the moment we are very confident that the result will be a unique venue reflecting our values of local sourcing, sustainability and innovative cooking with brilliant care for our guests.  So still very much on track to deliver the vision.

Sheffield Cookbook

We are excited to announce that the sequel to the Sheffield Cookbook, The Sheffield Cookbook Second Helpings will be available from 14 November 2016.  Available to pre-order now at £14.95 this 320 page full colour book will make a brilliant Christmas present for any Sheffield food lover.  Order here

Celebrate Autumn's bounty with our special buffet menu

Featuring our own Sheffield grown food and artisan Derbyshire produce our special buffet for Autumn 2016 captures the essence of nature's bounty.
         

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Menu - Cold Fork Buffet

Fresh baked courgette and cheddar quiche (PJ taste grown courgette) (V)
Platters of PJ taste Sheffield Eggs – Moss Valley pork, Hendos
Stanage Millstone Cheese – a new cheese made in Hathersage served with PJ taste baked bread and our plum chutney (Sheffield grown plums) (V)
Roasted beets, carrots and Jerusalem artichoke with a herby tahini sauce  (v)
 Potato salad with chives (PJ taste grown chives)
Selection of PJ taste Sheffield rhubarb Bakewell and bowl of Hazelhurst organic heritage apples (Sheffield grown)

Free delivery for orders of 10 or more people in Sheffield please book on   0330 043 1954 or ask@pjtaste.co.uk

Some Customer feedback:
We would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in our event on Friday, the day was a huge success and we have received some very positive comments throughout the practice. Your excellent communication prior to the event and the attention to detail we received was military perfection which did not go unnoticed.
Sally Hutchinson, Senior Office Manager, Purcell July 2016

I would like to say a massive thank you from myself and all at Wake Smith.  Your service and food has been excellent and it has been a pleasure working with you. 
Bridie Mulgrew, Marketing Executive, Wake Smith Solicitors.  May 2016

I wanted to write to thank you for the wonderful catering at our event last Friday.   Not only was the quality of the food and drink exemplary but your accommodating and calm approach was very much appreciated by myself and colleagues. 
Alan Dick, Head of Policy, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills