Jailhouse wok? Temporary restaurant to open in police cells at historic North East building

Diners will find themselves a captive audience and a curious new restaurant venture opening in the North East.

Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 3:51 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd October 2019, 7:34 pm
Chef Sean Wilkinson, Cllr Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Culture and Communities, and Secret Menu Maître D' Paul Kay

For a select band of food lovers will be tucking into a gourmet meal in the atmospheric setting of the historic police cells.

Just 16 lucky diners will get to enjoy the meal of a lifetime on Friday, November 22, in the bar behind bars at Middlesbrough Town Hall - and it's strictly first come, first served.

The Secret Menu is described as “a fusion of secret supper clubs and pop-up restaurants” - a relaxed, informal, dining experience centred on first class food without the formalities of fine dining.

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Organisers say the aim is to bring like-minded diners together, who may be absolute strangers, in a relaxed environment to enjoy an unknown menu at an unknown location.

The concept is the brainchild of founders Paul Kay and Sean Wilkinson.

Maître D' Paul said: "We're really excited to be partnering with Middlesbrough Council and the Town Hall for this dining experience.

"Diners will get to eat in a unique environment where previously you would have had to have been locked up to dine there."

Sean is the man in the kitchen on the night. The multi award-winning chef has over 25 years' experience which have seen him head up restaurants in the UK, Austria, France and Greece.

His cooking style blends classic cuisine with modern styles alongside his own innovative, scientific, molecular gastronomy approach, taking diners on a stimulating culinary odyssey.

Cllr Mieka Smiles, Middlesbrough Council's Executive member for Culture and Communities, said: "The major refurbishment of the Town Hall has given a major part of Middlesbrough's heritage a new lease of life.

"The public can now access the fabulous courtroom and the atmospheric police cells - so where better to enjoy a top class meal?

"The Secret Menu takes the idea of the pop-up restaurant to a whole new level - a one-off chance to have a meal cooked by a top chef, at a unique venue.

Places for the Secret Menu are strictly limited - bookings will open at 6pm on Friday, October 18 via The Secret Menu website.

Interested diners can find out more at http://www.secret-menu.co.uk/incarcerated