More developments on the James Martin front. The TV chef and professional Yorkshireman’s new restaurant at Leeds’ Clarence Dock is due to open at the end of March.It’s going to be called The Leeds Kitchen but it’s more than a restaurant. ‘Not just that,’ says James in an interview with Leeds Guide. It’s going to host private parties and corporate functions for up to 250 people: ‘That’s what appealed to me.’ Even better: ‘I’m going to be a big supporter of the local community, a big supporter of the local producers. I’m looking at doing maybe a farmers’ market where I can bring in the local producers and people can get to see that.’
Funny. I thought Leeds already had a farmer’s market. The first Sunday of the month. Mandy and I went for a wander round Clarence Dock a couple of weeks ago and the place needs all the help going. If you want to take the temperature of the recession, a tour of all the shop closures there is utterly salutory.
Anyone investing big time there right now is foolhardy or very brave. I hope James got a good set-up deal to go with his commitment: ‘I’ve got a flat at Clarence Dock, so I’m going to be there quite a lot, yeah. I’ll be there more than any other TV chef, I’ll be in that restaurant… and I’ll be there.’
That’s on the record, then.