- Josh Wheatley
Feeding Experience With Chez Joel
Food is completely subjective, yet entirely relatable. You have to eat, but how and
what you eat is up to you. It’s your prerogative. As we long for a meal out, what we really
miss is the experience. We miss the feeling of being stumped by a meal; being intrigued
by each bite. This can be hard to replicate with a takeaway, but you’ve got try haven’t you?
For me, it boils down to balancing flavour and price, and nobody in Leeds can compete
with Chez Joel. It’s food that you tell people about. It would be inhumane not to.
Joel amalgamates his Cameroonian and French influences to craft a menu that
really stands out in Leeds’ culinary landscape. He dedicates a lot of time to preparation to
ensure quality isn’t compromised, regardless of its affordability. The chips are made fresh
every day and the meat is marinated thoroughly. He uses techniques from his time in
culinary school in Cameroon, working in Marseille and his further education in Patisserie at
Grégoire Ferrandi in Paris; applying them to a menu that’s enticing and popular. The end
result is the calibre that you’d associate with a £12 high-street burger and chips, yet half
the price and with a much more memorable flavour profile. There’s a charm about Chez
Joel. There’s something enigmatic about the idea of a ‘best kept secret’. You can collect
the food directly from the kitchen, behind Booze Bin in Hyde Park and there’s a
heartwarming sense of honesty about the whole operation. From the unassuming
collections to the ongoing public social media conversation with customers, it’s the
experience that we’ve been starved of.
Chez Joel is still in its first year of Hyde Park residency, whilst still running the food
truck on Commercial Street, where it all began. The business is looking to expand into
other popular student cities, as Joel looks to achieve his goal of providing students all over
the country with meals with unmatched value and opening their eyes to an alternative
flavour. There’s also an app in the works to better implement it as a staple for students all
over, collating notifications and discounts. There’s already an almost cult student following,
partly due to the student burger and chips deal for just £5 for collection, which applies on
orders of at least three burger meals on delivery with only a £1 delivery charge. The
burgers vary from the classic Joel Cheese Burger, to the Lille Sweet burger with
caramelised onions and the Frenchy burger with Raclette cheese and Bearnaise sauce.
Fish and veggie burgers can be substituted for meat and there are other options available,
including French Tacos.
Not a lot is ordinary at the moment, but Chez Joel is the right flavour of
extraordinary. To keep up with offers and menu revelations follow: