Simon Turner has been appointed head chef at Arts in Leeds, and is set to launch a new menu at the restaurant at the end of the month.
Turner joins the restaurant following a four-year tenure at the Reliance nearby and three years as head chef of La Cour d’Honneur in Avignon, France.
He said: “I consider it a true opportunity to take Arts forward and promote good food. I’ve known Arts since moving to Leeds 18 years ago, and always enjoyed the feel it had. It’s been known as one of those ‘go to’ places for food. When I saw an advert for a head chef at an independent city centre restaurant (which are few and far between!) I jumped at the opportunity.
“I don’t want to change Arts, I’d just like to evolve Arts. I want to keep that bistro dining everyone knows, and bring locally sourced meats and produce to the table. I’m not saying we don’t travel the world with our dishes (because to me a British bistro is a melting pot of cuisines, and we need to embrace the flavours and styles that are all around us).”
Event and venue company New Citizens took over the site at the beginning of the year and relaunched the former Arts Café under its new name.
New owners, directors Matt Long, Steven Allison and Stu Butterworth, said they were keen to bring “new updates and improvements” to the site while also maintaining “its bistro menu, its art-focus, and its independent, welcoming feel”.
The site originally opened on September 1994 and features a rotating exhibit of art by local artists available to purchase.
Leeds-based New Citizens is also behind Chow Down food and drink festival, as well as the multi-use venue Canal Mills and pop-up restaurant Workshop.