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Chef Matt Healy on MasterChef: The Professionals

It’s our first Christmas in Manchester and as you’d expect, we’re really busy. The whole team has been working hard and the buzz in the building is incredible. When I’ve not been in the kitchen one thing I’ve been doing recently is catching up on MasterChef: The Professionals, and my neighbours have probably heard me shouting at the telly as I support my former colleague Matt Healy.

Matt’s a great guy… a very talented chef and I always knew he’d go far when he worked with me in our old restaurant in Yorkshire. Last time I saw him on TV was as my sous on Gordon Ramsey’s F Word back in 2009. We’re all a little bit more grey and seasoned than those days, but he was hungry and ambitious even back then and he’s worked really hard ever since to get to where he is now.

Simon Shaw and Matt Healy at the pass

Matt’s always stayed in contact, and dropped in to lend a hand just we were gearing up for opening in Manchester earlier this year. It was great to briefly share the pass with him again in a much bigger kitchen than we ever had in Ripponden!

I’m really proud of what he’s achieved in getting to the finals on MasterChef: The Professionals, and I was made up to see him acknowledge the influence I had on him… well done and thanks for the kind words chef. Watching him over the last month there’s no doubt in my mind that the pupil’s become a master in his own right.

Keep flying the flag for Yorkshire, keep championing great Spanish ingredients, and keep cooking like a champ – we’re proud of you and will all be cheering for you this week Matt!


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El Gato Negro Sur le Tour catThe Tour de France is almost upon us, and our headline offer is a real winner, with tickets on sale now. El Gato Negro is located just metres away from a dramatic stretch of Stage 2, as the peloton descends into Ripponden from Blackstone Edge. It’s the perfect base for a delightful gourmet day with breakfast and lunch included, so you can enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience in comfort!

This private daytime ticket is a superlative deal so you can enjoy the thrills and spills of the race in style. Just £70 per head for a guaranteed place from 9am-5pm. The price includes all of these features, making it exceptional value:

  • Private, unrestricted access to the restaurant (and our comfort facilities) between 9am-5pm. Stay inside or pop out to enjoy all the action.

  • A guaranteed table from 9am-5pm, with table service and complementary bar snacks

  • Our epic Spanish-style breakfast (see below for full details)

  • A great, late tapas lunch, after the excitement of the race passing through the village is over

  • Probably the best selection of wines and sherries in Ripponden, along with beers, coffees and soft drinks to suit every taste.

  • Live race coverage on our big screen, or the chance to step outside and enjoy it for real

Almost certainly the biggest and best breakfast in Ripponden

It’s going to be a long, thrilling day, so from 9am-11am we’re serving an epic gourmet breakfast to set you up in style. It’s our characteristically Spanish-style riff on a proper full Yorkshire breakfast. Here’s what it includesegn_june_tablelayout

  • Brindisa dry cured smoked panceta 

  • Pimentón Dulce chorizo Catalan

  • Spanish morcilla (black pudding)

  • griddled Portobello mushroom

  • a choice of either fried or scrambled eggs

  • our very own home-made alubia baked beans

  • home-made patatas haché (think hash browns, but better)

  • artisan miche sourdough toast

  • your choice of tea or coffee

Perfect for a leisurely and luxurious start to the day!

Bar and facilities

As the excitement mounts our bar will be open, with table service from our dedicated team. We’ll have our favourite champagnes, cavas, wines and sherries on hand… plus we’ll be showcasing some wonderful new Spanish wines from our forthcoming wine list too. They’ll be complementary snacks throughout the day too, to bridge the gap between breakfast and lunch. And don’t forget the relief of having access to our facilities; even if you nip outside to experience the excitement on the streets, you’ll still be able to enjoy our clean restroom facilities without fighting the crowds.

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A selection of wonderful tapas dishes by El Gato Negro (dishes shown may vary from those on the day)

A post-race lunch to savour

After the race passes through the village (approx 2.45-3pm) Simon and the team will be serving a selection of set menu with seven superb tapas classics and a bottle of wine to be shared between two.

We’ve upgraded the wines from our normal house too… you have a choice of either

  • Red – Candidato Barrica 3
  • White: Plot 22 Airen Blanco

We’ll be finishing the daytime service for 5pm, in time to ready the restaurant for the evening meal special.

Reserve your places for this fantastic day now by calling 01422 823070. See everything we’re offering for Le Tour here

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Le Grand Départ is coming to Ripponden! As we’re located right by the tour route, El Gato Negro is offering a choice of fantastic options for die-hard cycle fans, curious tourists, food lovers, and those just wishing to take part in the party atmosphere!  Our traditional Yorkshire stone-flagged floors will provide as much respite and cool as our selection of wine, sherries and beers for the event. And with several ways to enjoy our food, you’ll be able to mix the best of British and the most continental of flavours in a perfect package for a fantastic day out!
Option 1 is a ticket for a private daytime event. It’ll be an early start and a long day of thrills, so our Spanish-style breakfast will set you up in style, served from 9-11am. Then later we’ll be serving a great tapas lunch, with a set menu and a bottle of house wine. Plus of course the bar will be open, and we’ll have some special wines on hand for all the celebrations.

You’ll be able to watch all the excitement outside on the busy streets, or from the comfort of inside the restaurant on the big screens. A great deal at just £70 per head.

Option 2 is food to go: we’ll be selling a great lunch deal. Grab some special hot food, gourmet crisps and a cool drink and enjoy the spectacle in the crowds on the street outside. Great quality food to go… just £10.

Option 3 is a set evening meal (for when the peloton’s passed by and the roads have reopened, but the party carries on) offering some glorious tapas and a bottle of wine. Just £40 per head.
There’s plenty of interest so to secure your places, please call 01422 823070, or ask in person at the restaurant, for full details. Limited spaces!
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We were proud winners of Gordon Ramsey’s F Word Best Local Spanish Restaurant in 2009/10. After being shortlisted for the Channel 4 show, Gordon and his team turned up to film us at our Ripponden restaurant. Simon and sous chef Matt then headed down to London to battle it out in the studio. It was a tight run thing, but the boys brought the coveted award back home to Yorkshire in the end!