‘Bavette is a love letter to all of our favourite places, the ones we’ve worked and ate at,’ says Sandy Jarvis, who has opened Horsforth’s brilliant new French bistro Bavette with husband Clément Cousin. ‘We’ve drawn on parts of all of those places we’ve experienced, treasured or been lucky enough to be a part of and opened a bistro together – our favourite type of establishment. We couldn’t be happier.’

Since opening Bavette’s doors in February, diners have clamoured for a table at the new dining spot and, within weeks, the French bistro was inducted into the hallowed pages of the Michelin Guide. It’s unsurprising. The couple, who met at the much lauded but now sadly closed natural wine bar, Terroirs, in Covent Garden, have serious culinary pedigree.

'Bavette is a love letter to all of our favourite places, those places we've experienced, treasured or been lucky enough to be a part of' says Sandy.'Bavette is a love letter to all of our favourite places, those places we've experienced, treasured or been lucky enough to be a part of' says Sandy. (Image: Oliver Lawson)

Sandy, Bavette’s head chef, has always been interested in food, watching his parents cook for parties and using food as a vehicle to bring people together. He swapped a degree in chemistry at The University of Manchester for life in the kitchens and went on to work for some of the country’s best including at London’s Racine bistro and at the city’s Culpepper Family Hospitality Group, a group of pubs and restaurants, where he started as head chef but worked his way up to becoming the first managing director of the business.

Clément, restaurant manager and sommelier, formerly of The Buxton on London’s Brick Lane, and Simon Rogan’s Fera at Claridge’s, grew up in the Loire Valley and Bavette’s destination wine list will feature sips from Clément’s family’s vineyard, as well as other low-intervention bottles from across Europe.

It’s fitting, perhaps, that the couple’s decision to move north from London to open their brilliant bistro happened over a glass of wine.

French dishes with big Yorkshire flavours combine to create stunning dishes. French dishes with big Yorkshire flavours combine to create stunning dishes. (Image: Oliver Lawson)

‘We were sat in our garden in London and Clément was running The Buxton at the time,’ says Sandy, who grew up in Wetherby and trained at the prestigious Leiths School of Food and Wine. ‘I could see he was slogging his guts out and thought maybe it was time for him to look at something fresh. I was feeling a little bit the same, it just felt right for both of us.

‘I suggested moving up to Yorkshire, more in hope than belief, thinking it would perhaps make more sense to Clément to go to beautiful sunny parts of France, rather than the equally beautiful but less sunny parts of the north. As soon as I suggested it though, Clément was absolutely keen to do it. We love it here, exploring the Yorkshire Dales with our beagle Ozzy and we enjoy a nice life, with work-life balance.’

Together, at Bavette, they are creating a taste of French heaven. Everything from the food to the design of the restaurant have been their creation. The seasonally led menus, like the wines, feature an array of classic French flavours – think starters of shellfish bisque with crab crostini and pork belly rillons and mains of wild halibut, vin jaune sauce, buttered leeks and sauté potatoes and, of course, Bavette steak. Yorkshire suppliers feature highly in those dishes with the couple working with Skipton’s Swaledale Butchers, George and Joseph Cheesemongers in Chapel Allerton and Lancashire-based veg suppliers, Wellocks, who work with local farms to supply restaurants across the country.

Bavette's namesake: Bavette a l'echalotte, frites, Bearnaise sauce and baby gem salad. Bavette's namesake: Bavette a l'echalotte, frites, Bearnaise sauce and baby gem salad. (Image: Oliver Lawson)

‘I used Swaledale for eight years in London. I spent a lot of my childhood in the Yorkshire Dales so when I found this amazing butcher in Skipton I couldn't wait to work with them. They absolutely had to supply Bavette and we’re very proud to continue this relationship.

‘Their support of small-scale farmers, working also with Yorkshire Dales National Park, focusing on heritage breeds is completely in line with our core values around sustainable sourcing. It's also absolutely delicious meat.’

What has been particularly heartwarming for Sandy and Clément is the warm welcome they have received from Leeds locals. Bavette is located in what was once the much-loved Outside Inn. Those living locally have been delighted to see the once treasured place returned to the heart of the community.

Sandy and Clement are serving a taste of French heaven in Horsforth. Sandy and Clement are serving a taste of French heaven in Horsforth. (Image: Oliver Lawson)

‘The support we've had locally and Leeds generally, with people coming in for dinner, and seemingly being really happy, has been wonderful,’ says Sandy. ‘It’s been a lovely start. But ever since we agreed on the site, Horsforth has absolutely felt like the perfect neighbourhood – we already feel a part of it.

‘It had been The Outside Inn for 25 years and everyone remembers that with such fondness – our insurance broker proudly told us he used to do pot wash there. It was an institution so we knew the site could certainly be a big part of the neighbourhood. Sue, our landlady very kindly said to us that she feels that we will finally be able to carry on the baton of the site being special to the community. That feels good and is exactly what we would like.

‘We want to be that lovely neighbourhood place, our dream kind of place, where it feels special but an everyday special – that place you can go once a week but also for celebrations.’

Rhubarb loveliness from the dessert menu. Rhubarb loveliness from the dessert menu. (Image: Oliver Lawson)

A true representation of Sandy and Clément’s professional journeys and personal experiences, Bavette pays homage wonderfully to their favourite bistros. They are living their dream and are savouring every moment of it.

‘Our plan was always to one day do something together and to now be doing that feels very special,’ says Sandy. ‘There's no big, grand expansion plan. This is a dream for us, to have a busy neighbourhood bistro that the team love working at and for locals, and hopefully those a bit further afield, love coming to, again and again. And when we’re not at Bavette, we can go to the countryside with Ozzy and have nice walks. Leeds is a lovely city. We really like the people and the hospitality scene and feel very happy.’


Shellfish bisque. Shellfish bisque. (Image: Oliver Lawson)

Shellfish bisque recipe


1kg shells, for example langoustine or crab

2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, diced

4 carrots, cut in 1cm slices

1 fennel, roughly chopped

1 bulb garlic, cut in half

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1tbsp fennel seeds

2 tbsp tomato puree

50ml brandy

1litre double cream


Preheat the oven to 180C. Roast the shells in the oven for 25 minutes.

Heat a large casserole pan, add 2tbsp olive oil. Sweat the onions, then add carrots and sweat further.

Repeat with the fennel. Add the garlic and seeds. Toast then add tomato puree and cook out for two minutes.

Add the brandy and let the alcohol cook off. Cover with water and lightly simmer for 45 minutes. Skim off any scum/foam.

Pass through a sieve. You can get a stick blender in there before to break things up if you like but it is not totally necessary.

Reduce the stock until rich and delicious.

Add an equal amount of cream.

Bring to the boil and let the flavours mix together for five minutes. Don’t reduce too much. It should be a single cream thickness.

Delicious as a soup on its own or as a sauce for mussels or any white fish.

The Stock is freezable before the cream is added.


Onion tart. Onion tart. (Image: Oliver Lawson)

Onion tart recipe


For the shortcrust pastry

300g plain flour

125g butter, diced, cold

1 egg yolk

1 tbsp cold water

For the filling

3 onions, sliced

6 sprigs thyme

75g butter

350ml d cream

2 yolks

1 egg


For the shortcrust pastry

Mix the flour and butter. Add the yolk and water. Bring together to form dough. Don’t overwork.

Rest in the fridge in a flat round shape for 30 minutes.

Roll out onto a well-floured work surface and line a party ring (reserve extra pastry).

Blind bake for 30 mins until lightly coloured.

Fill any holes with the reserved pastry. Egg wash and cook for two further minutes.

For the filling

Sweat down the onions very slowly in butter. Cook until soft and translucent. Add a splash of water if they colour before they’re soft. This should take a good 30 mins.

Once soft, turn up the heat to colour. Add thyme.

Mix the cream and eggs. Add onions and mix well

Evenly fill the tart case. Cook in the oven a 150C until it has a light wobble, this should take around 25 mins.

Allow to lightly cool.

Delicious served with a mustard heavy salad.