Former MasterChef semi-finalist Liz Cottam and Mark Owens, previously head chef at the Box Tree in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, will be opening ‘four disparate foodie concepts’ together, including an intimate chef’s table-style dining experience.
The first concept to be announced will be named The Owl and is set to open within the market’s Fish & Game Row.
With the name inspired by the remnants of stone-carved owls you can make out in the arches above, The Owl will be a gastropub serving a menu focused on local market produce with an emphasis on roasted fish and game.
The other three concepts will be confirmed soon, two of which will be in the market hall with another also set for the Fish & Game Row.
“I think it’s about time our markets got back to their former glory,” says Cottam.
“I’ve wanted to do something in this amazing building for a long time. I was originally going to do one thing, but then I thought, if we want to actually push for some serious change, more is needed.
“So it seemed like a good idea to do as many things as possible.”
Cottam and Owens opened fine-dining restaurant Home together back in 2017, with a focus on food inspired by their Yorkshire surroundings and featuring a monthly-changing tasting menu.
Kirkgate opened as an open-air market in 1822 and has seen significant expansion over the years.
It is now said to be the largest covered market in Europe, with 800 stalls and more than 100,000 weekly visitors.