Dorset Chefs’ Forum Member & 2009 MasterChef Winner Mat Follas is to Open a New Restaurant

Mat Follas, MasterChef winner 2009, is starting a new venture at The Casterbridge hotel in Dorchester, Dorset.

Mat will be opening his new restaurant on Friday and Saturday evenings, starting on Friday 7th March 2014.

Mat’s new restaurant will take the award winning food from The Wild Garlic restaurant as its starting point. As chef at The Wild Garlic, Mat and his team were awarded 2 AA Rosettes for three years until its close, were listed by The Michelin Guide and The Good Food Guide and were highly recommended in The Guardian and The Telegraph with scores of 9 1/2 and 9 out of 10 respectively.

Jasper Gerard of The Telegraph said of The Wild Garlic;
A restaurant has been opened called Wild Garlic, and it’s sensational

Matthew Norman of The Guardian said of Mat’s cooking;
Follas is an exceedingly rare talent. MasterChef should be very proud of itself indeed.”

Mat wrote an introduction for the AA restaurant guide for 2014, focusing on food trends and specifically foraged and wild ingredients, so it is no surprise to find elements of these in his dishes. Mat’s menu for March includes a main course of Rabbit Ravioli parcels, served with sweet carrot purée, crispy sage leaves and a brown butter sauce, there is a wonderful slow cooked lamb terrine as a starter with hints of wild garlic, served with chilli jam, pickles and lamb crackling and for dessert you could try his rhubarb and whiskey crumble pudding with citrus cream, from the tasting menu.

Fish always features on Mat’s menu, with a strong emphasis on using daily catches from local sources where possible. The menu tantalisingly lists Fish of the day, filleted and cooked with potato gnocchi, sea vegetables and sauce to match today’s fish.

How about chocolate pudding ? The dark and white chocolate terrine with milk chocolate ice cream, shortbread crumb and fennel sounds both intriguing and mouth watering.

The menu at Mat Follas at The Casterbridge is a very reasonable £27.50 for three courses and there is a six course tasting option for £47.50. The Casterbridge is fully licensed.

Mat said ‘I’m delighted to be heading back to the kitchen, this time its just me cooking for a small restaurant, no partners or other people involved, it will only be open when I’m there. The Casterbridge is a delightful, classic, small hotel with two wonderful dining spaces, a small dining room and a lovely conservatory area for guests to choose between. My food will match the surroundings, with a more classic menu than I have done in the past, we will take the best of The Wild Garlic’s dishes as my inspiration and we will maintain a comfortable and relaxed dining experience.’

Melvin and Monica Curtis of The Casterbridge said ‘We’re thrilled to have Mat cooking at our hotel. Dorchester has recently had an influx of chain restaurants and hotels and this is a great opportunity to balance that with a high end, bespoke offering, this provides great choice for Dorchester and surrounding area residents. We know Mat will help bring tourist trade and interest from outside Dorset to Dorchester too.’

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To book a table at Mat Follas at the Casterbridge please phone: 01305 260884