Come Dine With Me The Professionals: Leeds restaurant FINT to compete in first episode of new Channel 4 show

A Leeds restaurant is set to appear in the first episode of Come Dine With Me: The Professionals.

By Abbey Maclure
Monday, 27th June 2022, 3:00 pm

Channel 4 will broadcast a new version of the popular cookery show tonight, in which contestants try to throw the best three-course dinner party, this time focusing on local restaurants.

Each episode will feature three local eateries, each represented by a partnership of two – such as the owner and head chef – vying for a cash prize shared among their staff and to be named the best of their town, county or city.

And competing on the first episode is Scandinavian-inspired restaurant FINT on Great George Street.

Simon Hawkins, owner and head chef at Leeds restaurant FINT, will appear on Come Dine With Me: The Professionals tonight (Photo: Tony Johnson)

Owner Simon Hawkins and his former floor manager Sakina will go head-to-head with Disco Kitchen in Halifax and Huddersfield's The Barn.

"It was amazing, so much fun," Simon told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

"The production team were amazing, they wanted to get across not only everyone's journey through Covid, but also how we're coming out of it and our experience on the frontline.

"I'm hoping it brings more bums on seats and more bookings."

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Simon had some emotional moments in the show - he founded the cafe Fettle with his partner Kamil in 2016, but the venue closed down in June last year after being hit hard by the pandemic.

But it wasn't the end of their venture.

After gutting the premises and starting over, FINT opened a month later - still serving simple food in a welcoming atmosphere but now with a focus on an evening menu.

"I've spoken about that so many times with other people, but it was one of the most emotional moments I've had," Simon added.

"We were speaking with people we'd only just met, yet have been in the same boat and have had very similar experiences."

Come Dine With Me: The Professionals will air at 5pm tonight.

Each of the contestants host their rivals for a meal during normal service, so their visitors will be able to assess the atmosphere, food and quality of service.

At the end of each meal, the pairs will score the evening out of 20 in a similar manner to the original version of the show.

Narrator Dave Lamb will return to his humorous observations and scathing criticism of the contestants’ food and interior design.