UPMARKET restaurant chain D&D London is to champion Yorkshire produce and suppliers when it opens two new restaurants in the £350m Trinity Leeds shopping and leisure complex next week.
Crafthouse and Angelica will occupy the fifth and sixth floors of the shopping development which opens its doors next Thursday.
The two venues will be the group’s first opening in the UK outside of London. D&D is best known for its famous London restaurants Le Pont de la Tour, Coq d’Argent and Quaglino’s.
Des Gunewardena, co-founder of D&D London, said Crafthouse will showcase the best Yorkshire produce and will take inspiration from the history of Leeds and the county.
Local suppliers will include butchers The Ginger Pig, based in Levisham, North Yorkshire.
“The Ginger Pig supplies the best prime beef, lamb and pork born and raised on the North Yorkshire moors,” said Mr Gunewardena.
Game merchants Yorkshire Game based in Brompton-on-Swale, North Yorkshire, will provide venison and game from North Yorkshire, The Peak District and Northumberland.
Family firm The Staal Smokehouse in Long Riston, East Yorkshire, will supply smoked salmon, trout and duck.
Milk and cream will be supplied by Dales Dairies in Grassington, North Yorkshire, and all the milk will be sourced from within a 12-mile radius of the farm.
Shellfish will be supplied by Venture Seafoods in Bridlington, East Yorkshire, a small supplier of locally caught lobsters, crabs and shellfish.
The two restaurants will mark the return of Bridlington-born Lee Bennett as executive chef.
Mr Bennett, who was working in Singapore as chef de cuisine for Equinox Restaurants and Bars, has worked in some of London’s top kitchens alongside Sheffield-born chef Jason Atherton, former Gordon Ramsay executive head chef Mark Askew, and celebrity chef Marcus Wareing.
Mr Bennett appeared on Celebrity Master Chef in 2010 and 2011 and the BBC’s The Great British Menu in 2010 when he represented Yorkshire.
“I left Yorkshire some 15 years ago and have had the fortune to live in Dubai, Paris, London and Singapore working under some truly great chefs,” he said.
“The time now feels right to return home with this wonderful site that D&D are investing heavily in. I am most excited about returning to Yorkshire as it will enable me to use the amazing produce that the region is famous for.”
Mr Gunewardena said: “Leeds is an interesting and buzzing city. There is a good combination of people who like going out. It’s a fashion conscious city with a creative scene and a very strong financial services sector.
“We’re really impressed by the staff in Leeds. They’re incredibly enthusiastic and we’ve got everyone in place now.
“Trinity Leeds is an important venture for us. Leeds has a significant and sophisticated business scene and it’s a city where people enjoy eating out.”
D&D will employ over 100 people at the two restaurants.
Crafthouse will be located on the fifth floor of Trinity Leeds and can be accessed from a scenic lift on Boar Lane or from within the shopping centre. The 144-cover space will offer views across the city and will pay homage to Leeds’ culture and heritage.
On the sixth floor, Angelica is designed to be a destination for both locals and visitors with a wraparound terrace and panoramic city views.
A central feature of the penthouse restaurant will be a cocktail bar offering new drinks brands and cocktails made by a team of experienced ‘mixologists’.
The interior of both restaurants was designed by Conran & Partners.
D&D stands for Des Gunewardena and David Loewi, who led the buyout of Conran restaurants in September 2006.
Since then the restaurant group has expanded significantly both in London and overseas.