Sunday, September 14, 2008

More Rounding Up

Sun 14 Sept 2008

I apologise for the hiatus in reporting back from Wednesday's Eggs Factor. I didn't win.

There were 11 contestants, including quite a few professional chefs, and we were divided into three heats. My heat cooked first (quite a relief!) and I found myself pitted against at least two, if not three, chefs, including one from Harvey Nichols. Although I was less than thrilled with my gougères (my choux mix was far too loose, and they came out a little flat, although apparently very tasty) I won my heat - so I was pretty chuffed! We all received a copy of Michel Roux's Eggs as well as a British Lion Eggs apron. I'm sure most of you can guess that I would have turned up for the cookbook alone! The overall winner was another amateur, Daniel Costello, from Doncaster. He goes on to cook in the final in London at the beginning of October - so hopefully he does Yorkshire proud and takes home the winner's cheque for £5000!

Most of this week's news is rather gloomy. It appears that the credit crunch/recession/financial crisis is starting to bite. Thursday's Yorkshire Evening Post reported that the much vaunted food emporium to be housed in the Corn Exchange is finding it hard to sign up leaseholders. Very hard. In fact, so hard that the only area accounted for is the basement where Anthony Flinn (of Anthony's) is planning on expanding his empire. As much as I love food (and that's quite a lot!) I thought the treatment of leaseholders in the Corn Exchange was shabby and it's a disgrace that a really vibrant and interesting shopping area, in a stunning building, is now a shell.

The other closure noted this week is Cuban Heels, in the Dark Arches. The city centre is now running short on Mexican and Latin American eateries. Las Iguanas represents the chain option, with Viva Cuba and Sandinista more independent offerings.

The Townhouse, also near the Corn Exchange, is set to re-open as Chilli White (hmm, surely competing with @Larocca in the bizarre name stakes) at the end of September.

And if you missed it, the big deal in Leeds this week was the opening of the Alea Casino at Clarence Dock. Here at Eating Leeds we've had a sneak peak at the food and from what we've seen it's a massive thumbs up. The casino houses two restaurants: The Bird, run by Vineet Bhatia, a Michelin starred chef based in London, and Fig. The opening party on Friday night was a very loud (not to mention boozy) affair, and the venue should give the Clarence Dock area quite a boost.

tagged with:

1. Las Iguanas, 3 Cloth Hall Street, Leeds, LS1 2HD, phone: 0113 243 9533, map.
2. Viva Cuba, 19 Queen Square, Leeds LS2 8AF, phone: 0113 244 9550, map.
3. Sandinista, 5/5a Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, LS2 8JP, phone: 0113 305 0372, map.
4. Chilli White, Assembly Street, Leeds, LS2 7DA, phone:
0113 2194001, map.
5. @Larocca, 5 - 6 Armouries Drive, The Anchorage, Leeds, LS10 1LE, phone: 0113 2346000, map.
6. Alea Casino, 4 The Boulevard, Clarence Dock, Leeds, LS10 1PZ, phone: 0113 341 3200, map.
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Blogger Katie said...

Did you go to the opening party at the casino on Friday? It was so much fun!

7:15 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

We did indeed! It was a great night - and we even managed to win half our taxi ride home, making it an extremely cheap night out! :)

12:56 pm  
Blogger Katie said...

Hooorah for free drinks! We won £3.03.

7:19 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

I'm not going to ask how it worked out to the rogue 3p!!!

7:57 pm  

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