MasterChef quarter finalists from Leeds and Wakefield launch pop up restaurant

MasterChef quarter finalists from Leeds and Wakefield have teamed up to run a pop up restaurant together.

Former biology teacher Jo Mills of Leeds, who appeared on the BBC cooking show in 2021, met Chris Hales from the 2016 series on a Facebook group for former MasterChef contestants.

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The two chefs will be running a pop up restaurant together in Harrogate for 10 days in December.

Jo Mills Photo: Tony Johnson

Jo, who has been building a food business since appearing on the show, said: "It has just been amazing. We both reached the same stage and Chris has built up a good business so I have learned a lot from him. Working together has been lots of fun."

The pop up restaurant will be in the Tipi Lounge at the Cedar Court Hotel in Harrogate from December 9 to 19

Jo said there will be afternoon tea on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; festive tapas from 2pm to 10pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and bottomless brunch on Sunday.

Chris Hales Photo: Chris Etchells

Jo, a former teacher from Garforth, has said appearing on MasterChef was an "exhilarating, exhausting and terrifying experience all at the same time.

Mum-of-two Jo told the YEP in April: “It was a dream come true to be a competitor on MasterChef.

"But when you walk through those swinging doors and into the kitchen to see John and Greg standing there, it suddenly becomes very real.

“I felt like a rabbit caught in the headlights on that very first cook.

“Once the initial panic settled down though, I loved every minute of cooking in the MasterChef kitchen.

“With each round I went through, my confidence grew and I just wanted to keep cooking and cooking.

After his MasterChef success, Chris Hales, of Wakefield, launched catering company Pop Up North, which he adapted to help those in need during the coronavirus crisis.

Working with local charities and churches, he devised a scheme to deliver meals to dozens of people across Wakefield.

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