A popular Leeds restaurant has become the first commercial venue to use Leeds Beckett’s new test kitchen facilities.

The kitchen, which is based at the University’s Headingley Carnegie Pavilion, offers flexible working space for food, product and menu development, research, and corporate activity, including team building.  Ben Davy, Head Chef at Ox Club (Headrow House), used the facilities to research and develop ideas for the new menu ahead of the restaurant’s launch in December 2015.

As Ben explained: ‘’We needed to do some last minute menu development and product testing and the new Food and Drink Production facilities at Leeds Beckett gave us exactly what we required.

“The range and quality of kit available is of the highest spec – exactly what professional chefs need to prepare and produce restaurant-worthy dishes.  It is a great resource and one I will be recommending.”

Whilst the kitchen facilities were installed approximately five years ago, until recently they were only used for limited purposes.  Guy Lincoln, Senior Lecturer in Events, Tourism and Hospitality at Leeds Beckett, said: “As a faculty we are always looking for new ways to engage with, and support, local businesses – we realised that by extending the use of the kitchen to commercial enterprises, it would benefit the region’s food and drink trade who might not otherwise have access to professional facilities.

“As one of the first activities in the new kitchen, we were delighted to be able to support Ox Club restaurant.  The project worked brilliantly for both of us and we have since enjoyed the fruits of our labours in their excellent restaurant!

“We have learned a lot from the experience which will enable us to continue to improve the service we offer.”

Staffed to support its use for regular and one-off small scale food production runs, or for partners to use for their own recipe and specification testing and development, the kitchen offers a wide range of services.

Charlotte Nutland, Product Development Manager for Enterprise Services at Leeds Beckett, added: “We are able to provide both consultancy and training support on a wide range of food and kitchen management requirements, tailor-made for any organisation.

“Through our work with hospitality providers and food producers we have developed this space as an extension of our provision to the industry.  We look forward to welcoming businesses into our suite over the coming month.”

To learn more about the unique space, contact: Charlotte Nutland, T: 0113 812 5980,
E: C.E.Nutland@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or kitchen@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or visit http://www.leedsbeckett.ac.uk/testkitchen/.