Matt Healy chooses Leeds for his first restaurant

AFTER a successful appearance on BBC cooking show MasterChef: The Professionals, where he was named runner-up in 2016, Yorkshire-born chef Matt Healy has announced he will open his first restaurant in Leeds.

Healy’s new restaurant will take over the The Foundry Wine Bar and Restaurant, on Saw Mill Yard; part of a refurbished complex of former industrial buildings which have been transformed to provide creative offices, living accommodation and independent cafes arranged around cobbled courtyards. 

The site attracted a lot of interest from potential buyers, but Healy’s was ultimately the winning bid.

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The Foundry on Saw Mill Yard

The Foundry, which has been owned by Phil Richardson and Shaun Davies since 2005, has built up a loyal following thanks to its down to earth British cooking and friendly approach. The current owners will continue to run the business until mid-April.

Healy was trained at Thomas Danby Catering College, in Leeds. Before his appearance on the professional version of Masterchef, the Leeds-based chef worked under Simon Shaw at El Gato Negro, the only Manchester city centre restaurant to hold a Michelin Bib Gourmand.

The Masterchef 2016 finalist had been looking for the right venue to open his first restaurant for a while and feels like The Foundry site might be the perfect fit for his style of seasonally inspired bistro food.

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Matt Healy outside The Foundry

“This place is an institution, it’s been full for twelve years,” says Matt. “Anyone who knows anything about decent food in Leeds knows The Foundry.”

As soon as he gets hold of the keys, chef/owner Healy is keen to put his own stamp on things, with a new look, a new name and a new menu. The restaurant interior is due to undergo a complete overhaul in the middle of next month.

“We’ll be sympathetic to what Phil, Shaun and the team have done and what customers have come to expect,” says Matt, “but we’re looking to take The Foundry to the next level.”

Matt Healy’s as yet unnamed restaurant will open in the first week of May.