News release - Issued by York Theatre Royal - 10 Oct 2016
Former chef, wine merchant and hospitality consultant Matt Beevers has vowed to turn York Theatre Royal into a “destination for food and hospitality” following his appointment as Enterprises Manager.
Matt, formerly chef patron at York’s Nineteen Restaurant and Director at Maison Du Vin, will be responsible for the stunning new bistro at the theatre, as well as its cafes, bars and events, including those held in the luxuriously refurbished De Grey Ballroom – and he says he’s excited about the theatre’s untapped potential.
“It’s exhilarating to think what can be achieved here,” says Matt, who also headed up the kitchens at two of Robin Hoods Bay’s premier establishments: The Wayfarer Bistro and Victoria Hotel. “We have some incredible spaces for the community, corporate events and weddings – as well as a thriving restaurant – and I want the theatre to become part of the city and part of the community, not just through its theatre but as a destination for food and hospitality in its own right.”
Born and raised in Robin Hood’s Bay, Matt says York Theatre Royal has always held a special place in his heart.
“I came here every year with my mum and dad when I was a kid to see a pantomime or a play, and it was considered such a treat,” says Matt, who left Yorkshire for France at the age of 18 to train as a chef. “I never imagined I would one day call it my place of work!
“As a venue rich in history it has to be treated respectfully but, given its brand new start, York Theatre Royal really is a place where tradition meets modernity, where we can offer a seamless service, fantastic food and memorable events within a quirky space.”
York Theatre Royal reopened in April 2016 following a £6 million redevelopment. Its foyer was transformed into an open plan café, bistro and bar with new seating areas, and the main stage was also reconstructed.
Now doubled in size, the theatre’s bistro offers diners lunches and evening meals made from locally sourced Yorkshire produce such as the juicy ‘Keregan Burger’ (named after the theatre’s Georgian founder), West Coast Mussels with Bluebird Bakery bread or 28-day-hung ‘Royal Rib-eyes’ under Patrick Gwynne’s groundbreaking glazed extension and the gothic colonnade with its floor to ceiling windows.
Notes to editor:
• Fluent French speaker Matt trained to be a chef in France before taking on head chef roles at Victoria Hotel and The Wayfarer Bistro, and becoming Chef Patron of Nineteen Restaurant in York in 2012. In 2015, he became director of wine and spirit merchant and wholesaler Maison Du Vin, and a hospitality consultant, advising a raft of Yorkshire businesses about menu design, kitchen set up, staff training and operations.
• Every stage of the York Theatre Royal redevelopment was carefully designed to harmonise with the Grade II listed building and its beautiful patchwork of architectural styles.
• Food at the café counter and bistro shines a spotlight on producers from around the area with bread from The Bluebird Bakery on the Shambles, Brown and Blond brownies, Sykes House Farm butchers, York Coffee Emporium, York Brewery, fruit and vegetables from Dales of Malton and fish from Cross of York.
• The De Grey Ballroom, close to York Minster, was fully restored to its former glory, providing a gorgeous space for weddings, parties and conferences.
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