Chef Anthony Flinn thanks staff after restaurant closures and hints at return

25 June 2013 by
Chef Anthony Flinn thanks staff after restaurant closures and hints at return

Chef Anthony Flinn thanked his staff for their efforts and hinted at a return, after he was forced to close his four Leeds restaurants as they entered administration.

News of the closure of the four sites - Anthony's, Piazza by Anthony and the Rib Shakk, all of which were located in the Corn Exchange, and Anthony's Patisserie, in the city's Victoria Quarter, emerged over the weekend.

A total of 70 people are thought to have been made redundant as a result of the move.

On Twitter, Flinn said: "A quick thank you to all our amazing staff for all their hard work and support. What a fantastic group of people and I am very proud to have worked with you all.

"To our customers, thank you for your support over the last nine years. We worked hard and gave it our all. See you soon.

"I would also like to thank everyone for the kind words too. They mean a lot and I will miss you all too. #watchthisspace."

Flinn ran the business with his father, also called Anthony Flinn. The pair had only recently relocated Anthony's from its original site in Boar Lane, which opened in 2004, to the Corn Exchange, making the move in April this year.

At the time, Flinn said: "The move to the Corn Exchange is the obvious next step which will give us an opportunity to take our fine-dining restaurant to the next level."

"The expanded facilities that are made possible by the greater flexibility of space within the Piazza site will allow us to showcase dishes and techniques that were impossible in the small kitchen of the current Boar Lane site."

Insolvency firm Lines Henry is acting as administrator for the company of the business and has already appointed chartered surveyors to sell the assets held by the group.

Michael Simister, a spokesman for Lines Henry confirmed the loss of 70 jobs and linked the closure of the restaurants to economic conditions and increased competition in Leeds city centre.

Flinn graduated from Huddersfield Technical College and worked at the Michelin-starred restaurant Lords of the Manor, in Gloucestershire, for two years.

He then moved to Barcelona to work alongside Xavier Pellicer at the Michelin-starred Abac restaurant before becoming the first, and only Englishman on the payroll at the El Bulli restaurant in Spain.

Speaking in an interview with Caterer and Hotelkeeper in 2008, when he was due to open Piazza by Anthony at the Corn Exchange, the chef, who made an appearance on Great British Menu in the same year, gaining a reputation for frequent swearing in the process, said of himself:

"I am not a TV-style chef," he says. "I'm not prepared to sell my soul for TV. On the Great British Menu you got what was me. I'm sure I'm not the easiest chef to work with. I'm not a smiley person and I don't jump around joking about."

Interview with chef Anthony Flinn >>

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