Meet the customer: Friends of Ham

We are privileged enough to work with some of the best bars and restaurants in the UK. Here we talk to Anthony Kitching, co-founder of the brilliant Friends of Ham in Leeds, and now in Ilkley too.  If you’re in that neck of the woods, you really must go.

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1. Hi. First things first: who set up Friends of Ham?

Just me and Claire

2. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Can’t remember – probably a pro rugby player.

3. How did you earn your living before opening Friends of Ham?

Construction management plus a stint as a chalet host in France.

4. For those poor souls who have never been to Friends of Ham, give us a thumbnail sketch of the restaurant.

Beer, meat, cheese and wine done well in a friendly environment.

5. Why does cured meat feature so prominently on your menu?

Clues in the name – it’s what we do.

6. British cured meats: how are they shaping up? Do you have any favourites?

Improving all the time, the quality has come on massively since we opened. Bath Chaps have to be a fave as they are distinctly British, not just Euro copycats. Venison works well too.

7. What’s the best cured meat you’ve ever tasted?

Hard to beat a pure breed Iberico Bellota but for pure indulgence I’d have to say Lardo di Collonata

8. Finally, you’ve been told that for exceptional medical reasons you must turn vegan tomorrow – what’s on the menu for dinner tonight?

Wine and a chip butty

Bath Chaps, supplied by Cannon & Cannon, and poached eggs