YEP Says, March 12: Winners’ dinners as we celebrate city food scene

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IT’S seven years since we launched our Oliver Awards – and they get bigger and better every time.

IT’S seven years since we launched our Oliver Awards – and they get bigger and better every time.

The latest edition saw the best restaurants in Yorkshire once again go head to head in the battle for these coveted prizes.

Congratulations go to some of the big winners on the night.

Kendells Bistro scooped three awards, including Best Chef, Best City Centre and Overall Winner.

The Box Tree in Ilkley picked up two awards, including Best Fine Dining and Outstanding Contribution.

The Man Behind the Curtain – the brainchild of chef Michael O’Hare which opened last year off Boar Lane – won Best Newcomer.

And the ever popular Sukhothai in Chapel Allerton scooped Best World Restaurant.

But these awards are about more than just the prizes – they’re a chance to celebrate.

Leeds is now home to a thriving dining scene which consistently produces food of an extremely high quality.

Despite what restaurant critics such as Giles Coren would have us believe, the city can deliver an excellent dining experience.

But that’s not to say it can’t get even better – and hopefully the motivation of winning big at next year’s Olivers will drive our restaurants and chefs to new heights.

No partying in the park – again

THERE is no real surprise in the decision by Leeds City Council bosses to shelve Party in the Park and Opera in the Park for the second successive year.

But that won’t soften the disappointment for the thousands who would have hoped the two events would return this summer.

“Funding pressures” are again being blamed for the move, but the timing is ironic given that it comes just 48 hours after the council revealed the city will more than likely bid for Capital of Culture status in 2023.

The question is, if the council can’t make these events pay their way, then where else would it cut the funding needed to stage them?