Nestled on the border or Leeds and Bradford in Apperley Bridge lies one of Leeds hidden gems.

Apperley Bridge isn’t necessarily where you immediately think of going if you’re looking for a night out. There’s a school, a train station and The Moody Cow ….. not much else. However, that isn’t turning people off when they’re looking for some hearty food with service to match. The Moody Cow is as it says on the tin, all about the meat (well, mostly) and when you’re a destination venue, you’d best be good at what you do!

Their introduction tells you they “take pride in sourcing and serving the finest locally grown, raised and reared produce. Being Yorkshire born and bred, we want to celebrate the amazing goodness that comes from God’s Own County”. We sided with them when we went to review them (see link at the end) and the man spearheading this love of all things local and Yorkshire is their Head Chef Martin Cunliffe



Here’s what he had to say…


Meet Martin – The Moody Cow, Apperley Bridge


Q – Where are you originally from?

A – I am originally from Eccleshill, Bradford but currently living in Wakefield.

Q – When did you first become interested in cooking?

A – I became interested in cooking from a very young age I was always keen on watching cooking programmes like Ready Steady Cook and Master Chef and also reading cookery books.

Q – Who was your biggest inspiration?

A – My biggest inspiration is my brother, I started cooking with him when I was just 13 years old and I was always excited to see what he was going to create, it was fascinating to see an amazing dish come together from just a few simple ingredients.

Q – What changes have you seen, if any, in the way the restaurant world has changed? ie have peoples tastes changed, do people expect more nowadays etc..?

A – There have been many changes in the way people eat today than there was 10 years ago, if you wanted a certain type of cuisine or dish you went to a restaurant that specialised in your particular preference. These days you can go to a top restaurant and find the humble burger on their menu, or alternatively a branded restaurant attempting bistro style dishes, so these days it’s about finding a restaurant that does it the best.



Q – What has been your biggest success to date?

A – My biggest success so far was achieving Sous Chef at 16. I was working at Sporting Lodge Inns at the time and I worked so hard to achieve Sous and I was so proud of myself. Ever since then I have strived to be the best I can be.

Q – What’s the must try dish on your menu?

A -Here at The Moody Cow we have a lot of very nice dishes I could choose, but my favourite to cook, present and eat has to be the King Scallops. It just looks so inviting and colourful with plenty of texture from the crispy Parma Ham and the almost butter like Scallops. Beautiful.

Q – What would be your tip for upcoming chefs?

A – Where do I start with giving advice to aspiring chefs???
It’s going to be very hard work to achieve your goal but the rewards are fantastic. You will come across some Head Chefs and Sous Chefs that will seem, at the time, very strict and you will get the feeling that they don’t like you, but that is far from the truth. We have been in your situation and know how daunting it is and we will continually push you to be the best because in our world only the best matters. The harsh reality is it can take only one silly mistake to ruin your own reputation and the restaurant you are working in.


Q – Finally, If you could summarise, what do you believe good cooking is all about?

A – Good cooking is all about the flavours and presentation combined on a plate of food, a dish could look amazing but taste awful with lack of seasoning or the wrong combination of ingredients and on the other side the dish could look very unattractive but taste amazing so it’s getting them both spot on for me.

 If you want to see what we thought of the food when we reviewed The Moody Cow click here

By Tom, Restaurants of Leeds Share this story