“We get a lot of different people coming in, from local people who want simpler food to millionaires from London.
“We learn and try to cater for lots of different tastes – at one point we didn’t put bacon or sausage sandwiches on the menu and all hell broke loose.”
Hepworth cafe executive chef Chris Hale made his name with a successful run on Masterchef in 2016 and has turned his hand to running the kitchen in the gallery.
A lot of the new menu, launched this week, is undeniably flash and trendy but sits alongside old cafe favourites.
He said: “We do a full range of food.
“We have tried to refine it and now I think we are getting that balance right.
“We have a brisket burger everyone would enjoy but some of the salads are a bit more leftfield.
“We want to be edgy and have food where people go ‘wow’. People used to come to the Hepworth for the gallery and think ‘oh, there’s a cafe there as well’.
“But we want it to be the other way round – we want people to come for the cafe and think ‘oh right, there’s a gallery there as well’.”
The mixture of old and new – and full English breakfasts alongside orange and goat’s cheese salads – suits the gallery and the forward-thinking role it wants to play in Wakefield.
Chris said the Hepworth “helped put the city back on the map”.
He said: “If you said to anyone in Wakefield 10 years ago there would be one of the country’s leading art galleries in the city they would have laughed you right out of town so to be a part of it is amazing.”
Try: Smoked haddock tart and BBQ pulled beef brisket are among the standouts on the Hepworth cafe’s new menu. Other options include roast cauliflower and lentil salad, and orange, beetroot and goat’s cheese salad. If none of the above sounds appealing there’s a “full Yorkshire” breakfast on offer, with bacon and sausage back in their rightful place on the menu.