Men Behind the Curtain: Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs team up with Leeds chef Michael O’Hare

The Man Behind the Curtain chef Michael O'Hare..''Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

The Man Behind the Curtain chef Michael O'Hare..''Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

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2015 was undoubtedly Michael O’Hare’s year. He was awarded a Michelin star for his restaurant, The Man Behind the Curtain, which was subsequently booked up for months ahead, and he cooked in the final of TV’s Great British Menu.

But even just a few days into the New Year, 2016 is shaping up to be pretty good too.

Manchester United star Ryan Giggs called O'Hare 'talented and inspiring'.Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

Manchester United star Ryan Giggs called O'Hare 'talented and inspiring'.Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

The chef has been appointed as creative director for the hospitality group owned by former Manchester United footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, GG Hospitality.

Mr Neville met O’Hare in October last year, a month after the announcement that he had been given one of culinary’s highest accolades, and said he “knew instantly” that he was the man for them. He said chef’s “skills, attitude and attention to detail” made him the “perfect match” for his restaurants and hotel, the Café Football Stratford, Café Football Old Trafford and Hotel Football.

Mr Neville said: “I’ve dined at The Man Behind the Curtain and can honestly say that I’ve never experienced anything like it. Michael’s skills, attitude and attention to detail are exactly what we require across all our GG projects and we’ve no doubt that he is a perfect match for us.”

Co-director of GG Hospitality, Mr Giggs, said: “It really is truly exciting to be working with such a talented and inspiring chef.

The Man Behind the Curtain chef Michael O'Hare..''Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

The Man Behind the Curtain chef Michael O'Hare..''Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

“As our business evolves, it’s imperative that we move forward with the best team around us and I’m confident that Michael will help us in achieving further success.”

O’Hare, who opened The Man Behind the Curtain in Vicar Lane in 2014, after a stint at the Blind Swine in York, said: “The moment Gary and I started to discuss the project, I knew I wanted to be involved. His passion and enthusiasm immediately drew me in and the vision both him and Ryan have for enhancing the GG Hospitality offering, felt like a natural fit for me.

“From the Great British Menu to The Man Behind the Curtain’s first Michelin Star, 2015 was a fantastic year and I look forward to working on this exciting project, alongside my restaurant, in 2016.”

CHEF’S RISE TO GLORY

One of O'Hare's dishes - hand massaged ocxtopus, amalfi lemon, caper and parsley. Photo Tony Johnson

One of O'Hare's dishes - hand massaged ocxtopus, amalfi lemon, caper and parsley. Photo Tony Johnson

Originally from Teeside, O’Hare began cooking when we left home to study dance at college in London.

Before opening The Man Behind the Curtain in 2014, he was head chef at The Blind Swine in York, having previously cooked with rmer royal chef Graham Newbould in Harrogate and later John Burton-Race in London.

He came to national attention on the Great British Menu, not only for his highly creative and unusual dishes, but his distinctive “rock and roll” look.

Since opening in Leeds, Hare has garnered rave reviews and was awarded his first Michelin star in September.

O'Hare's 'Milk chocolate, lavender and honey mouse, violet ice cream, hot potato custard, vinegar

O'Hare's 'Milk chocolate, lavender and honey mouse, violet ice cream, hot potato custard, vinegar

Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville

Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville