Michelin-starred chef equips recently opened Ecclesall Road restaurant on a ‘mission’

A Sheffield restaurant on a ‘mission’ to help adults who face barriers when looking for employment has been given thousands of pounds worth of professional kitchen equipment by chef who earned two Michelin stars by the age of just 26.

By Sam Ward
Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 4:37 pm
Updated Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 4:44 pm
Chef Tom Aikens with Blend Kitchen founder Chris Hanson
Chef Tom Aikens with Blend Kitchen founder Chris Hanson

Blend Kitchen, who recently opened their Ecclesall Road restaurant for the first time having moved from the city centre, provides opportunities to adults who often face barriers when looking for employment, offering them training and advice.

Now, Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens has provided thousands of pounds worth of professional kitchen equipment.

This will not only help the restaurant team, but also the extensive training programmes Blend Kitchen offer for people who may not ordinarily get such an opportunity within a professional kitchen.

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Blend Kitchen founder Chris Hanson said: “We are absolutely thrilled with the help that Tom has been able to give Blend Kitchen.

“When we had to vacate our old premises, we weren’t sure what was going to be our next step. However, what we have seen since is an abundance of kindness and goodwill from so many different organisations and people.

“From our new premises, its interior design, our new branding and the funding we have been awarded, the support has been phenomenal, and now Tom has continued this by helping to kit-out our kitchen with the best equipment.

“I truly believe that people see the good we do every day at Blend Kitchen, and really understand the mission we have of ‘good food does good’.”

Blend Kitchen left their old unit on Pinstone Street to move to the redeveloped Wards exchange on Ecclesall Road, and opened for outside dining on April 14.

The venue was also recently selected as one of 120 social entrepreneurs in England to receive support from the Inclusive Recovery Fund.

Chef Tom Aikens earned two Michelin stars as chef patron and co-owner of London restaurant Pied à Terre, and has since opened a self-titled restaurant in Chelsea.

Tom Aikens added: “I’m very happy to be able to help out Blend Kitchen. Their work is so important, and especially as what they are doing is so close to home.”