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More top culinary talent arrives at The Island Quarter following appointment of new Head Chef at Binks Yard

The Island Quarter has expanded its team of talented chefs with the appointment of Lee Coates as new head chef of the eagerly awaited bar and grill, Binks Yard.

From pub kitchens to Michelin star restaurants, Lee has experience in catering for every level of dining. He began his career as an apprentice chef where he went on to win two back-to-back competitions for a global hotel franchise in London. 

Since then, his career has seen him working for some of the finest restaurants up and down the country, from London to North Wales. Moving back to Nottingham in late 2011, Lee met chef patron Laurence Henry where he helped Laurence with his Snobby Burger venture which launched during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Launching this autumn, with chef patron Laurence Henry at the helm and supported by Lee and a talented team of chefs, Binks Yard is a new canal-side hospitality venue that will bring together the best of causal drinking and dining. The menu features a wide selection of high-quality dishes celebrating great produce and flavours. From its wood-fired sourdough pizzas which boast creative pairings, and its pinchos and tacos selection, the menu is crafted for everyone to enjoy. 

Binks Yard is just one of the brands set to launch this year at The Island Quarter and together with finer dining restaurant Cleaver & Wake, marks the first phase of the project which is set to be one of the UK’s largest regeneration projects to date.

In his new role Lee will be drawing on his wealth of fine dining experience and eye for detail to help lead the kitchen at Binks Yard.

Talking more about his new role, he said: “I am so pleased to have been appointed as head chef at Binks Yard. Being a local lad from Nottingham it’s always been a dream of mine to work for such an iconic restaurant, to watch it grow and be close to home. 

“There’s so much I’m excited to share with customers. We use a wood-fired pizza oven to create a really authentic taste, we also have an amazing Ox Grill which we’ll be using to do a lot of flame cooking over the charcoals to create a true smoky flavour. We’ve got some of the best talent around within the team and it’s exciting to be a part of that. I’m looking forward to opening our doors and welcoming customers to what is set to be a really special place.”

Lee’s responsibilities include overseeing the whole food operation at Binks Yard and ensuring daily restaurant audits are achieved. He’ll also be working closely with suppliers to guarantee the best seasonal produce. 

Lee added: “1 The Island Quarter is a fantastic addition to Nottingham. Growing up in the city I have never seen anything quite like it.  Binks Yard will have an outdoor space where customers can eat, drink and listen to live music at the bandstand. There will be events running throughout the year at Live at Binks Yard. It will be such an amazing site for Nottingham. I’m looking forward to watching it grow and being part of the experience.”

Food beverage and events project director, John Whitehead said “We’re pleased to have such great talent, like Lee joins us. His experience and achievements throughout his career make him a special addition to our growing team. 

“We are growing fast in the lead up to launch, and it’s great to have such passionate and ambitious individuals on board who care deeply for the success of The Island Quarter.” 

To find out more about Binks Yard, please visit: