SaraHead Chef - Leigh

No-nonsense family guy and culinary wizard Leigh heads the kitchen brigade of seven at City Tavern.

Some boys dream of being a fireman, a pilot, a soldier, or maybe an astronaut. However, Leigh only ever wanted to be a superhero/slash/chef. A strange combo, but these two key ingredients played a big part in Leigh’s formative years and in his life today. Comic mad Leigh would often be found buried in marvel and DC comics, but when he wasn’t reading adventures of Iron Man or The Hulk, he was dreaming of becoming a superstar chef. Before joining our team Leigh trained and worked at local restaurants including Fox Talbot, Fisherman’s Lodge and Café 21 ...quite a pedigree I’m sure you’ll agree. Leigh is a huge fan of traditional home-cooked food and is a great all-rounder in the kitchen, expertly turning his hand from classic roast dinners, to Asian cuisine, vegan delights, as well as the nations favourite puds, which are always a staple at City Tavern.

Interesting stuff

In his youth Leigh regularly went hunting (mainly deer, pheasant and grouse) with his father in Dunoon, Scotland. At the end of the shoot Leigh would assist the chefs at a nearby country house hotel (the destination for their quarry), preparing and learning how to create game dishes for the hotel guests.

Funny story

One night after a poker game at Leigh’s house, he and his pals thought it would be a laugh to set sail in a dinghy on the Tyne. The bets were on, would they make it from the Copthorne Hotel to Gateshead in one piece? Unfortunately they never found out as halfway across they were forced to turn back by the River Police who had been alerted by the Fire Brigade, who in turn had been called by concerned diners at the hotel. Luckily Leigh had won big-time at poker earlier, he needed to as the fine for being in charge of a dinghy whilst under the influence of alcohol pretty much wiped out his winnings.

Scary fact

Leigh has a man cave, not your average man cave, but a man cave full to the gunnels with his collection of super-hero paraphernalia collected from ‘comic- con’ conventions all over the world. He also has dozens of superhero outfits including Spiderman, Batman, Captain America and ‘Wonder Woman’ to name but a few. Where and when he wears them remains a mystery, but as long as it rocks his boat I guess that’s his business. Saving grace: Leigh’s man cave also houses a collection of vintage red wines ...you’re forgiven Leigh.

Favourite food 

Roast dinners. Maybe that’s why we have become renowned for serving one of the best Sunday lunches in the City.

Favourite tipple

Considering Leigh has a man cave filled with vintage wine, it’s no great surprise he enjoys the odd glass of red whenever the occasion arises, which it does quite often.

A bit more trivia

Leigh boxes (or he used to) and is a black belt in the martial art of Jujitsu. Leigh’s father was also a boxer and would take on anyone willing to gamble a quid or two at the Hoppings fair back in the 1980’s. ...and finally, it may be hard to believe now, but Leigh often used to be mistaken for Ant McPartlin (from Ant and Dec fame). The ravages of time eh Leigh!

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