Posts Tagged ‘Yorkshire’

The Leeds Kitchen – new restaurant from chef James Martin

The Leeds Kitchen - restaurant by James MartinCelebrity chef James Martin has announced that his new UK restaurant, The Leeds Kitchen, will officially open to the public on Saturday 9th April 2011.

The new restaurant will be at the Alea Casino in Clarence Dock, which is in the trendy waterfront area of Leeds and promises a menu that will feature the best of British cuisine with a twist.

The restaurant has been transformed into a beautiful, contemporary fine dining space by Yorkshire based Interior Designer Carolyn Parker, who has worked with her daughter Abby and local suppliers to create a warm and open design, incorporating some unique pieces reflecting James’ personality.

“Leeds and Yorkshire is the perfect place for me to open my new restaurant,” explains James Martin.

“With a great young team, both in the kitchen and front of house, we are really looking forward to the opening. Being a Yorkshire man, it’s not hard to understand why the produce is so good in the area and we are going to use it to maximum affect on the menu.”


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The Huntsman Inn Holmfirth

Out and about in West Yorkshire recently, we came across a little gem of a pub called the The Huntsman Inn near Holmfirth.

We were virtually swept into it during a howling gale (it’s on the edge of the moors and the weather can be brisk at the best of times up there, but this was a particularly ferocious day!) and discovered to our joy a lovely cosy retreat with an open fire crackling and a menu full of scrumptious sounding, very decently priced food.

Over the years, we’ve been finding it harder and harder to find pub food of the sort offered at The Huntsman – there seems to be a yawning gap between top of the range gourmet pubs and cheap and cheerful chains that rely on standard menus and pre-cut chips. We weren’t looking for Michelin star standards, just good quality homemade pub food and this place certainly seemed to have it.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for a full blown main course meal, so opted for their homemade soup and sandwiches, but plenty of people were tucking in with gusto around us.

For just under £6 each, we found our meals to be great value – we each had a hot sandwich which came with a lovely mug of chunky fresh homemade vegetable soup and the piece de resistance, proper hand-cut chunky chips.  It was just what we needed to help us thaw out, delicious, comforting and most certainly recommended.


Benares’ Atul Kochhar wows Sheffield

Yesterday and today, the 14th annual Skills for Chefs conference is taking place at the University of Sheffield in South Yorkshire.

The conference has become a leading annual event, bringing together award winning chefs, industry professionals and catering students.

Chefs take to the stage kitchen to produce mouth watering dishes, whilst passing on snippets of their wisdom to the audience through the following Q & A sessions.

The opening demonstration this year was Michelin starred chef Atul Kochhar, chef patron of the acclaimed Indian restaurant Benares in London’s Mayfair.  In less than 40 minutes, he had put together a feast of three Indian dishes, including chicken livers with garlic and ginger, marinated spiced John Dory and chicken curry, explaining as he went about the nuances of Indian cookery and cuisine.  It was fascinating to watch a master chef at work and to listen to his hints and tips.

Atul was keen to share some of the hidden secrets of cooking great Indian food and was at pains to stress the importance of working in harmony with spices.

“Spices should be used in just the same way as one would season with salt and pepper,” he said “each one is just part of the seasoning balance.”

His top tips went on to include the following

  • ease up on the chilli – “you shouldn’t be trying to prove something by adding great quantities of chilli”
  • oil should be very hot before frying spices, so that their essential oils are released into the dish – do a pinch test to see if they sizzle before adding them
  • think about what you are cooking and use fresh, seasonal ingredients whenever possible

We were lucky enough to be in the front row to watch Atul do his stuff and must admit, it has made a trip to Benares very tempting indeed!