Thierry's Leeds

Thierry's Leeds

Thierry Dumouchel is a chocolatier and baker from Normandy, who lives in Leeds with his English wife. He has been supplying delis and restaurants in the city with pastries, cakes, breads and chocolate from his factory in Garforth since 1998. Thierry was brought up on a farm, and has carried the idea of fresh ingredients and unfussy flavours with him ever since; he avoids chemicals and preservatives to focus on simple and delicious flavours. He has won many awards, but describes becoming Yorkshire Life’s Chef of the Year in 2009 as his greatest accolade, because it confirmed he has been accepted locally.


Wherever you go in Leeds, you won’t be too far from Thierry’s produce. As well as his own shop in Garforth, independents Laynes Espresso, near the station, serves up Thierry’s baked goods alongside great coffee award-winning deli Haley & Clifford, close to Roundhay Park, where you can buy his boule, seeded battard, walnut and raisin loaves and you can also sample the bread at upmarket pub Stew & Oyster at Calls Landing and at the Thorpe Park Hotel and Spa.


As far as chocolate goes, if you’re looking to taste a signature creation by Thierry, try the Yorkshire Chocolate, proudly produced with the county’s own cream, butter and rapeseed oil. Though obviously the cocoa beans come from further afield, Thierry creates single-bean chocolate and knows the origins of all his products.


In the fifteen years Thierry has lived in Leeds, he has been amazed by its transformation. You can now eat pretty much any cuisine you fancy including Moroccan, Thai, Indian, Japanese and Persian with plenty of options for fine dining. Thierry is a fan of the “clean and nice food” on offer at Harvey Nics Fourth Floor Café and Bar. And he loves La Grillade,the oldest French restaurant in the city, which dishes up his favourite French dishes: moules and salade aux lardoons, boudin noir (blood sausage) and chateaubriand (tenderloin steak), alongside a glass of Fleurie or Gigondas for a special occasion. Thierry’s dad grows loads of apples so anything with apples is a must – he rounds off a meal at La Grillade with tarte aux pommes, which he supplies to the restaurant himself.


In fact, Thierry has developed a habit of taking his own bread with him when he eats out – something perhaps only a charming Frenchman could pull off! But, having spent so much of his life in the UK, Thierry has developed a passion for “honest English food.” He adores roast beef and Yorkshire pud, delights in eating pork pie at Christmas, and enjoys fish’n’chips consumed al fresco in the wind and rain with his family.


Thierry jokes that the best restaurant in Leeds is at his house. But if he could only pass on one other recommendation to Leeds visitors, it would be a stay at sleek 42 The Calls Hotel, where the “fantastic breakfast” includes twelve varieties of sausages, homemade jams and marmalades, kippers and homemade waffles.


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