Home Grown – In search of talent for Leeds’ latest fine dining restaurant

Elizabeth Cottam and Mark Owens were running a recruitment drive with a twist for their new Leeds restaurant HOME, opening this summer.

Many of our readers will know Liz was a Masterchef semi-finalist in 2016; and that Mark was Head Chef at the Michelin-starred The Box Tree in Ilkley. Nine catering students from Leeds City College were in the running for three Trainee Chef jobs at HOME when they worked to a brief devised by Liz and Mark.

The dish had to be ‘traditionally British, modern, flavoursome and clean’. It didn’t stop there, of course. Each student presented their dish and described how they feel about food. They then had to go through an interview. What a hugely stressful day this was for them.

HOME opens this summer, so the successful students will have the chance to grow from the very first day. The ambience, we’re told, is to be fine dining with a warm welcome. Liz explained that after her residency at The New Ellington Hotel with Mark, their customers’ remarks had resonated with them: Customers had the feeling that they’d been invited to someone’s home for dinner – thanks to the passion with which Mark and Liz described their dishes and the warm welcome they received. So the two chefs determined to add such a place to the Leeds’ restaurant scene.

The nine students who competed to become part of the new HOME restaurant in Leeds are Kieran Brown, Callum Fisher, Amy Bailey, Ben Haigh, Connor Corrigan, Jeff Esteve, Connor Featherstone, Chloe Linley and Bryony Shepherd. Mark Owens said: “We are looking for chefs who want to work at the highest level and they must be ambitious, motivated and disciplined. We chose Leeds City College as our starting point for our new team because home grown talent, as well as home grown produce, will be crucial to our success and we’ve been hugely impressed by the team and training facilities at the College so far.”

Leeds Living offers very best wishes to Liz and Mark for their new venture and looks forward to sampling their menu in the summer.

  • Written by

    Adam Kershaw