Create: Tasty new Leeds city centre restaurant opens

create

A tasty new restaurant working with hard-to-employ youngsters has opened its doors to the public in Leeds city centre.

Create, on King Street, employs trainees from the Create Foundation's training programme who are local homeless, marginalised or vulnerable people.

They are enrolled on a 12-week course and will work alongside industry professionals at the flagship restaurant

Create Kitchen

A tasty new restaurant working with hard-to-employ youngsters has opened its doors to the public in Leeds city centre.

Create, on King Street, employs trainees from the Create Foundation's training programme who are local homeless, marginalised or vulnerable people.

They are enrolled on a 12-week course and will work alongside industry professionals at the flagship restaurant.

Richard Walton-Allen left his job of 12 years as head chef of Harvey Nichols to become national executive chef at Create and oversee the Leeds restaurant, which opened to diners on Friday.

The award-winning chef said: "I've been in hospitality for 24 years and the people from the Create Academy are some of the brightest and most dedicated people I have ever worked with.

"You can expect great food and great service and you’ll be inspired by the people. I am very happy to be working alongside them, it is really exciting.

"Leeds should be proud that this is the first restaurant of its kind in the UK and should shout it from the rooftops."

Sarah Dunwell, chief executive officer at Create, said: "My biggest hope is that we prove that these guys are an absolutely incredible work force.

"Each one of them is here because they want to transform their lives and they just needed the opportunity to do that."

Waiter Regis Runtaganda came to Leeds from Rwanda 11 years ago.

He got involved with Create when completing a community sentence and has turned his life around.

He said: "I would have struggled without Create because it is quite hard to get a job with a criminal record as no one will give you a chance. "They have made me a strong person and given me support, confidence and hope as well as new skills.

"In five or 10 years’ time I hope to have my own catering business or small cafe."

Four months ago, Claire Burton, 37, of Roundhay, hit financial troubles and was left homeless after living in Spain with her 16-year-old son. She graduated from the Create Academy's 12-week course and now has a job as demi chef at the Leeds restaurant.

She said: "When you get the first ticket come through for an order the adrenaline just pours through you.

"I've made friends, got great support from Create, got some NVQs, my son is in college and now I have a job. Without Create, I'd be back to feeling isolated, lonely and depressed with no self esteem."

For more information about the restaurant opening, visit Richard's blog at: www.foodbycreate.co.uk/richards-blog


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