Horsforth-born Matt Healy was runner-up in Masterchef: The Professionals in 2016 and now owner of his first restaurant. The Foundry Wine Bar and Restaurant, part of the award-winning Round Foundry estate of refurbished industrial buildings which provide offices mainly for the creative industries, has steadily built a great reputation in Leeds for its British cooking. Matt has put his own stamp on the restaurant with a new name, menu, and design for the interior and exterior.
Matt trained at Thomas Danby Catering College in Leeds. After graduating he worked at Stuart’s Wine Bar, Babylon and Livebait before moving to Ripponden and working under Simon Shaw at the original El Gato Negro - the only Manchester city center restaurant to hold a Michelin Bib Gourmand. Matt then moved to London and worked at the critically acclaimed restaurant Terroirs.
The Leeds chef shot to fame in 2016 when he was runner-up in the professional version of the popular BBC cooking programme – with two-Michelin-starred judge Marcus Wareing famously describing one of Matt’s sauces as ‘one of the best he had ever tasted’.
Matt has his own team of chefs and staff, led by Iain Silver, who has previously been General Manager at Pintura and Blackhouse. When asked if it will be ‘fine-dining’, Healy was quick to dismiss the term as it puts people off trying new places. But he will be doing British food, lunches, brunches and be using seasonal produce to create simple dishes that might only have five ingredients at most.
After the show Matt did some pop-ups but longed to come home and says he has found a very different food and drink scene from the one he left. His picks would be Laynes Espresso for coffee, Wino, Dakota and Oporto for drinks and HOME for dinner. He said:
“I love that Leeds is getting its act together, it was a good few years behind London and Manchester but is catching up and I hope I can add to that. It is a challenge to set up a restaurant and I can see why people don’t do it but more independents should take the plunge and I am looking forward to getting back on the stove.”