MasterChef winner to open new Dorset restaurant

Former MasterChef winner Mat Follas has announced plans to open a brand new restaurant in Dorset next month.

The winner of the 2009 edition of the TV cookery show will base his new venture at The Casterbridge Hotel on High East Street in Dorchester, which will initially be open for Friday and Saturday night services.

The new restaurant, adventurously called Mat Follas at The Casterbridge, is anticipated to create various new catering and hospitality jobs in the area when it launches on 7th March 2014.

Diners can expect dishes such as Coquilles St. Jacques with handmade butter puff pastry, Dorset razor clams with salmon caviar, and fillet steak with smoked mash and freshly made Béarnaise sauce, while desserts include Dorset hedgerow harvest, elderflower meringue, strawberry soup, and wild berry ice cream.

“Mat's dishes will balance the best of the wonderful countryside, and seaside harvest we have in Dorset with classic cooking to make the most of these wonderful ingredients,” said a spokesperson for the restaurant, which is expected to have a relaxed dining atmosphere with no dress code.

Follas’s new venture will follow on from his former restaurant, The Wild Garlic, which was awarded two AA rosettes for three years and received scores of nine and a half and nine out of ten from The Guardian and The Telegraph, respectively.

The eatery could be in for a successful launch if new figures from Allegra Foodservice are any indication. The report stated that the UK’s eating out sector is set to see a three per cent rise in revenues this year.

However, the increase, which will boost takings up to an estimated £82.5 billion over the next 12 months, is expected to largely come as a result of the growing popularity of street food as well as the recent expansion of managed pub chains and branded restaurants.

By Owen Mckeon
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