A POPULAR restaurant in Guisborough has won its fourth award in the Good Food Gold Seal Awards.

This Gold Seal certificate awarded to Cookfellas Eatery and Wine Bar at 63 Church Street, Guisborough, states that: “Based upon customer feedback, nominations and votes, Cookfella’s Eatery & Wine Bar have demonstrated exceptional levels of food quality, service and value when compared to our industry benchmarks.

"In recognition of this achievement, we are delighted to confirm that Cookfella’s Eatery & Wine Bar have made it into our annual Good Food Awards and have attained our highest accolade, the 2020 Good Food Award – Gold Seal."

Cookfellas is owned and run by Wayne and Helen Leonard, who opened their restaurant seven years ago in Bow Street, Guisborough, and moved to their present location five years ago.

Since then it has gone from strength to strength. Wayne and Helen have travelled all over Europe to produce Mediterranean inspired food and have worked in Greece, France, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. They try to source all fresh, quality ingredients locally and use suppliers for vegetables and meat from Great Ayton, Stokesley, Darlington and Richmond areas.

Wayne said: “Basically, everything that comes through the door is checked by our team. Anything that’s not up to our standard is rejected. We place an emphasis on good quality ingredients, keeping them simple and cooking them well.”

Helen said: “I used to work for an Arab sheikh on his private motor yacht and work out of Cannes, France, and we used to have winters in Lebanon, so we used to look after his palaces and apartments in Beirut and also in the mountains of Baqarah. We used to do many banquets and parties and things with all the Lebanese chefs. When we were doing big functions for about 500, every corridor would have a lovely oven making all the fresh breads and things. We love Lebanese food, the freshness of it.”

Proud of his fourth Gold Seal award, Wayne added: “It’s not a purchased award, you can’t enter a competition. It’s all based on reputation, feedback and they have a real stiff judging criteria. It’s all down to quality ingredients, customer feedback, hygiene. Out of 550,000 eating establishments only 300 have been awarded awards and only a certain amount of those have got the gold seal award.”