Henry Dimbleby, the man behind Leon

The nice thing about being a food blogger is that you get the opportunity to meet liked-minded people sharing the same love and passion for food.

In every blogger’s heart is a wish to either go to every restaurant on their personal wishlist, meet people you have always secretly dreamt of shaking hands with or taste food from a foreign country you know you would never get the chance to go to.

And there are opportunities that you would have never imagined would ever come true. Like a child wishing for a toy that he knows he would never get but, one day, the postman knocks at the door with the unexpected yet much desired treasure.

When I received an email from Henry Dimbleby inviting me to an informal dinner to taste the new Leon dinner menu and discuss ideas and recipes, my heart skipped a beat. Could I have received better news that day? As a normal person having accomplished his day at work, probably. But as someone passionate about food and especially Middle-eastern cuisine, it made my day.

Some people have a true devotion to Michelin star chefs and I’m the first one to admire their work. But there are people out there with a passion and a love for cooking who don’t pretend to have their name featured in the red book but work hard to make dining out an entertaining and affordable experience.

And Leon is one of them. Once you get the chance to know more about Henry, you understand where his passion for food comes from and how important it is for him to offer his customers good and healthy food without playing the extravaganza experience.

With Henry, food is a long-term relationship story. It is food from the heart, food from his mother who used to be a cookbook writer telling people how to eat healthy, food cooked to give you the energy you need for the afternoon while making sure that your nutritional needs are respected. It’s food coming from a man who just wants people to have a good time.

Always looking for new ideas and wondering how to improve things, Henry and his team just launched a new dinner menu. Whereas the lunch is composed of meals based on low GI to help people keep up with their afternoon, the dinner menu focuses more on entertaining options such as grazing dishes, mezze, wraps and salads.

The Feasting Menu comes with small bowls of Chili con Corne, Moroccan Meatballs, Hummus & Flatbread, Chilli Chicken, Grilled Chorizo, Brown Rice, Garlic & Chilli Brocoli and Leon Mash.

The classic menu features Leon Gobi, Aioli Chicken, Meatballs, Grilled Halloumi, Hummus & Flatbread, Sunshine Salad, Brown Rice, Garlic & Chilli Brocoli.

Apart from the Sunshine Salad which would need a bit of a kick, each dish revealed strong flavours and Henry’s love for spices. ‘My mom was a cookbook writer and she used to cook everyday to work on the recipes she created. Her love for spices was so strong that she made Sainsbury’s stock a wider variety of spices for the first time. We were surrounded by spices at home and we built-up our palate based on our mom’s cooking.’

If you’re looking for a family atmosphere where every detail of design and decoration reminds you home, Leon is the place to go. The food is tasty and healthy and there will be always something on the menu for all appetites.

Leon
www.leonrestaurants.co.uk

10 thoughts on “Henry Dimbleby, the man behind Leon

  1. Oh I’m so jealous! I would love the chance to meet Henry – I think I could eat at Leon every lunch for the rest of my life and not get sick of it. What was the highlight of the dinner menu for you?

      • Totally agree – I am half Sephardi, and my grandma grew up in the Lebanon, so my family is very influenced by Moroccan and Lebanese tastes. Have you been to Ottolenghi? Slightly more Med. influenced but wonderful use of spices

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