El Gato Negro, Leeds
Superman, or Simon Shaw as we like to call him, has done it again. Not content with a presence in Manchester and Liverpool he’s colonised Jamie Oliver’s ill-fated Italian and opened the latest addition to his tapas empire in a huge converted bank on East Row in Leeds. When he launched his first place deep in the Calder Valley in 2005, we all sucked air through our teeth, going ‘how the hell is tapas going to work in Ripponden?’ He proved us wrong – of course it worked, Shaw’s a man who doesn’t countenance failure, he just rolls up his sleeves and powers through. When we visited Leeds a few days after opening, the place was heaving, elves were scurrying about and Shaw was standing serenely at one end of the open kitchen, calmly supervising with a smile on his face. HOW DOES HE DO THAT? He’s Superman, that’s how.