Winners of the YEP's Oliver food and drink awards revealed

A Frenchman who has made Yorkshire his home, his work and his passion was the star of the show last night as the Yorkshire Evening Post hosted its Oliver food and drink awards.

By Emma Ryan
Friday, 20th March 2020, 10:05 am
Josh Whitehead, of the Harewood Food and Drink Project, who was crowned Best Chef for 2020 at the Yorkshire Evening Post's Oliver food and drink awards.
Josh Whitehead, of the Harewood Food and Drink Project, who was crowned Best Chef for 2020 at the Yorkshire Evening Post's Oliver food and drink awards.

Lionel Strub, the owner of the historic Clarendon country pub with rooms at Skipton, was handed the Outstanding Contribution award at last night's glittering event which paid tribute to the best that Leeds and the wider region has to offer from bars to chefs, to restaurants and breweries.

Mr Strub, who took over at The Clarendon in 2015, was presented with the award by Steph Moon, a fellow renowned chef and one of the Oliver Award judges.

She said he was "more a Yorkshireman than many might know" and that "his knowledge of local food and drink is impressive".

Sign up to our daily newsletter

El Gato Negro was founded by Simon Shaw (pictured) and won Overall Restaurant of the Year.

One of the newest names on the Leeds front, El Gato Negro, was the 'Overall Restaurant of the Year' as well as winning 'Best World' and the other most coveted award of the night went to Josh Whitehead. He was named Best Chef for 2020 due to his work at the Harewood Food and Drink project. Highly commended went to Jono Hawthorne, who is at the helm at Vice and Virtue.

The ceremony, the 12th in the history of the awards, was held at the Centenary Pavilion at Elland Road.

After a nomination period, 14 out of the 17 categories had been previously whittled down to a shortlist, with the judges (which also included beer writer, Simon Jenkins and food critic, Amanda Wragg) coming up with the restaurant of the year and outstanding contribution winner.

The food loving public of Leeds also had their say with the People's Choice Award, which returned for a second year. After hundreds of nominations being made, before being put to a text vote, Grumpy's pizza restaurant in Farsley was announced as the winner.

Lionel Strub is the recipient of the Outstanding Contribution for 2020.

Laura Collins, the editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post, said: "Within this room there are some of the most talented, creative and ambitious people from brewers to bar staff and fine dining chefs." But, she added, they all had one thing in common and that was "passion and dedication" to the industry.

The full list of winners and highly commended are:

Best Brunch

Winner - Nordish

Highly Commended - Alexander's

Best Family Friendly

Winner - Fazenda

Highly Commended - Salute

Best Use of Local Produce

Winner - Blacker Hall Farm

Highly Commended - Clarendon Country Pub with rooms

Best World

Winner - El Gato Negro

Highly Commended - Devour

Best Gastropub

Winner - The Owl, Kirkgate Market

Highly Commended - The Queen O T'owd Thatch

Best Speciality

Winner - Clam and Cork

Highly Commended - Northern Bloc

Best for Sustainability

Winner - Swinton Park

Highly Commended - Leeds Cookery School

Best Newcomer

Winner - Grantley Hall

Highly Commended - El Gato Negro

Best Customer Service

Winner - Rudding Park

Highly Commended - Sukhothai (Chapel Allerton)

Chef of the Year

Winner - Josh Whitehead (Harewood Food and Drink Project)

Highly Commended - Jono Hawthorne (Vice and Virtue)

Best Fine Dining

Winner - Host

Highly Commended - Grand Cru

Best Bar

Winner - Head of Steam (Park Row)

Highly Commended - Whitelocks

Best Cafe/Cafe Deli

Winner - Wild Plum

Highly Commended - Haley and Clifford

Best Brewery

Winner - Northern Monk

Highly Commended - North Brewing Co

People's Choice

Grumpy's Bar and Wood-Fired Pizza

Overall Restaurant of the Year

El Gato Negro

Outstanding Contribution

Lionel Strub