Michael steps from behind curtain to bring Michelin star to Leeds

LEEDS today has a Michelin-starred restaurant - taking the number of top eateries in Yorkshire to six.

Wednesday, 16th September 2015, 4:16 pm
Man Behind the Curtain chef Michael O'Hare. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Chef Michael O’Hare won the accolade for his oddly-named diner The Man Behind The Curtain on city centre Vicar Lane.

Tattooed 34-year-old Mr O’Hare, familiar to TV viewers from the BBC series The Great British Menu, was formerly head chef at The Blind Swine in York.

His restaurant joins fellow Michelin establishments The Box Tree at Ilkley, The Star at Harome, The Pipe and Glass near Beverley, The Yorke Arms at Pateley Bridge, and The Black Swan at Oldstead.

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The Man Behind The Curtain is the only new Yorkshire entry in this year’s Michelin Guide, published today. It joins top London restaurants Lyle’s, Bonhams, the Portland and the Dining Room at the Goring.

Mr O’Hare grew up in Middlesbrough and between the ages of 11 to 18 studied ballet, enrolling for a college course in modern dance. His mother was a florist and his father a welder.

The trained pilot off did a culinary stint at Judges Country House Hotel, Yarm, before moving to Harrogate to work with former royal chef Graham Newbould and later John Burton-Race in London.

Since opening in Leeds, Mr O’Hare has garnered rave reviews for his dishes including pork pressa, mandarin spices, consommé of beet, hot and sour and daikon and basque foie gras.

He modestly tweeted: “This isn’t Leeds’ first star. Jeff Baker had one before me.”