Masterchef semi-finalist to open her own restaurant in Leeds

DINING DUO: Elizabeth Cottam and Mark Owens.
DINING DUO: Elizabeth Cottam and Mark Owens.
Have your say

A TV Masterchef semi-finalist is opening her own restaurant in Leeds which will “re-imagine fine-dining”.

Elizabeth Cottam, from last year’s BBC show, has teamed up with Mark Owens, former head chef at the Michelin-starred The Box Tree in Ilkley to launch HOME, next month at 16-17 Kirkgate in the city centre.

The 65-cover restaurant and bar will feature a 10-course tasting menu and an exclusive chef’s table experience for serious foodies with unique insights into the creation of the dishes being served by Mrs Cottam and Mr Owens.

They have also recruited apprentices from Leeds City College after holding a Masterchef type challenge to find the cream of the city’s cooking crop.

Mrs Cottam said: “After MasterChef I knew I wanted more from, and for, the Yorkshire restaurant scene. Encouraged by the judges’ recommendations that I had professional potential I sought out more experience, and met Mark Owens at The Box Tree where we quickly found we had lots in common with our approach.”

The concept for HOME came when Mrs Cottam secured a residency at The New Ellington hotel last year, working with Mr Owens as a consultant.

Together they achieved a raft of five star reviews but also comments that customers felt like they’d been invited to someone’s home for dinner, thanks to the passion over the dishes and the warm welcome they got.

She added: “We are very excited to have secured this venue and major work has now started to create something unique and really special for Leeds.”

It was previously a dance hall, billiard club, cinema and most recently an Indian restaurant.