Restaurant Breathes New Life into Legendary Leeds Venue


HOME is re-imagining the world of fine dining and opening on Kirkgate later this summer, at a city centre location fondly remembered under a number of guises for more than a century.


Elizabeth Cottam, from Leeds – much-praised semi-finalist of last year’s BBC MasterChef – and Mark Owens, former Head Chef at the Michelin-starred The Box Tree in Ilkley, have announced the location for their new restaurant as 16-17 Kirkgate in Leeds city centre. HOME – which describes its approach as ‘fine dining, reimagined’ – will be opening its doors in August, and its offer includes a ten-course tasting menu, featuring an impressive range of seasonal and local ingredients.

The concept and name for HOME is inspired by its creators’ love of fine dining – rooted in a strong sense of heritage and provenance – offered with a welcoming atmosphere. The carefully-chosen 3669 sqft venue for HOME has previously been a dance hall, billiard club, cinema and most recently Darbar restaurant, offering Indian cuisine with a fondly remembered welcome from the street.

16-17 Kirkgate is now being transformed into HOME – a 65 cover restaurant with bar area. An additional exclusive chef’s table experience is also being offered for serious foodies with unique insights into the creation of the dishes, and being served by Elizabeth and Mark throughout the evening. The duo have a vision and commitment to bring something completely new to the world of fine dining and the claims and aspirations for HOME are well-grounded.

Elizabeth Cottam explains: “After MasterChef I knew I wanted more from, and for, the Yorkshire restaurant scene. Encouraged by the judges’ recommendations that I had professional potential I sought out more experience, and met Mark Owens at The Box Tree where we quickly found we had lots in common with our approach – not least our shared passion for great food, and even better service. It really got Mark and I thinking that there could be a place for something else in the Leeds restaurant scene.”

Elizabeth secured a residency at The New Ellington hotel in Leeds city centre last year, working with Mark as a consultant, which achieved a raft of five star reviews for their food. Customers also commented about feeling like they’d been invited to someone’s home for dinner, thanks to the passion with which their dishes were described and the warm welcome they received.

Elizabeth continued: “The HOME name was borne out of our diners’ comments and we are delighted to have found the location for its permanent location on Kirkgate. As someone who is Leeds born and bred, I’m really pleased to have found a place with such a rich heritage, and it’s now a part of the city that has been given a a new lease of life thanks to recent developments like the Victoria centre with John Lewis and other high-end outlets. We are very excited to have secured this venue and that major work has now started to create something unique and really special for Leeds.”

The launch ten course tasting menu for HOME is still under wraps but it is confirmed that all of the menus – three course lunch menus and smaller five course evening menus will also be available – will change every month and all will feature the very best in locally, regionally and nationally-sourced ingredients.

Mark Owens commented: “We’re coming at this with a ‘HOME by name, home by nature’ approach and our monthly-changing menus will be a true celebration of everything Great British produce has to offer. We’ve spent a lot of time working together on our first menus and I know that we’ve found the very best that the country has to offer.”

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Elizabeth Cottam concluded: “HOME is being created through our creative and nurturing approach to all elements of our work: From the design of the restaurant to the bringing together of our team of the very best local talent, and from the sourcing of the very best seasonal produce our country has to offer to the creation of some very special treats and surprises for our diners. HOME is something we are really proud of already and we’re looking forward to opening our doors in August with a really warm welcome.”