NO place like HOME Life has been tough for restaurants this year and a measure of resilience has been a key ingredient in the approach to the food fightback as the year closes. Elizabeth Cottam’s Leeds-based fine dining restaurant, HOME, was forced to close its doors back in March when the nationwide lockdown began and for Elizabeth and her team, it meant heading to the kitchen for some innovation and creativity in preparation for a new dining out landscape. For now, bookings are flying as the team celebrates a third year in business and Elizabeth reflects on a unique few months. She has had a speedy food journey – having opened her restaurant after success as a finalist on MasterChef in 2016 - but nothing could prepare her for the effect of the pandemic. ‘Once we got over the shock of what was happening, we were well schooled to adapt to our circumstances,’ she says. ‘Evolution is my philosophy and is the reason I was first drawn to this industry. I know that we’ll never really be ‘done’ here at HOME.’ Elizabeth’s fine dining restaurant serves imaginative food within showcase tasting menus. They make the most of their proximity to local suppliers at neighbouring Kirkgate Market in the heart of Leeds. ‘One thing that has remained a constant for me though, is my passion for my home county, Yorkshire,’ she says. ‘Our tough and gritty Yorkshire spirit has got me through many a tough moment and now, more than ever, this determination has willed me on to power through these uncertain times. Creatively, I look to my surrounding landscapes and environments for inspiration. That might be a gnarly countryside stone cove, lush, rolling hills or rain-soaked Yorkshire flagstones in Leeds city centre, we have so much real and raw beauty around us, it’s hard not to let it influence me.’ HOMEleeds.co.uk HAVE YOUR FILL The food and drink news you need to know 114 Yorkshire Life: October 2020
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