The plant-inspired café-bar grows its team with head chef Adam Leavy

GARDEN-inspired bee-friendly café-bar Alvarium (meaning apiary) has been steadily growing its fanssince opening in the Northern Quarter, pruning and tweaking its offering so that the seeds sowed earlier in the year are now bearing fruit. The latest development in the old Cord premises is the appointment of a head chef, in the form of MasterChef semi-finalist Adam Leavy. 

 Alvarium has been busy making a name for itself as a go-to for green-minded as well as green-fingered types. Basing its recently introduced daily changing market-fresh food menu around seasonality and the availability of ingredients, vibrant vegetarian and vegan dishes have taken centre stage alongside a choice of small plates perfect for meat-lovers, with dishes including plant-based paté, marinated mushrooms, smoked beetroot and burrata, cauliflower hot wings, chickpea dahl with flatbread… 

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Adam is the perfect choice to take the reins in the kitchen, then. He famously served up meat dishes that looked like vegetables and veggie dishes that were more similar in appearance to meat to the likes of Michel Roux Jr.and Monica Galetti, with plates of punk parsnips and cauliflower couscous seeing him through to the final eight of MasterChef: The Professionals back in 2013.

 Having started outprepping vegetables at the Royal Exchange at the age of 20, Adam has since worked atMichael Caines’ ABode, Damson in Media City, vegan restaurantThe Allotment, and Loreto high school in Chorlton, where he and former colleague Sukhdev Singh were challenged to up the canteen’s offer and put kale chips and salad boxes in front of the kids – a roaring success, it turned out.

In a similar fashion, Adam plans to make the Alvarium menu his own. He says: ‘I’m really excited to be part of Alvarium. The space itself is a perfect match for my plant-based food. I’m really looking forward to working with Braddan and his team to create a seasonal and affordable dining experience.’ 

Says Braddan Quayle, Alvarium’s owner and director: ‘I’m over the moon that we’ve managed to attract a chef of Adam’s calibre. His experience coupled with his style of cooking I’m sure will be enjoyed by our discerning patrons. The business has blossomed rapidly over the last five months. The addition of Adam to our team will enable us to offer top-drawer vegan dishes to our diverse and growing customer base. This, added to our vegan wine list and immanent autumn/winter cocktail menu, which will have more vegan choices, is really something for people to be buzzing about.’

Find Alvarium at 8 Dorsey Street, Manchester, Manchester, M4 1LU or click here to find out more.