7 April 2014
A MASTERCHEF is cooking up a storm in Dorchester.
Mat Follas opened his much-anticipated restaurant at the Casterbridge Hotel last month.
It is a small intimate setting open on Friday and Saturday nights.
Mat said: “When I was looking for a new venue I narrowed my options down to Dorchester or Bridport — I decided Dorchester was the better option, because it has a larger population and is more central. I’m also excited to be working in Dorchester, which is a really nice location to be in. I think it’s already very well served with the likes of Russell Brown at Sienna up the road and all the other restaurants, so I’m really pleased to become a part of the mix here.”
Known for his foraging skills, Mat said this new venture has allowed him to source local great ingredients by foraging. “Dorset is probably the best place to find wild ingredients. Everything is here, particularly this end of Dorset. It’s something I really like doing, and one of the reasons I wanted a small venture, as it means I can actually go and forage ingredients for the restaurant and serve them.”
He added: “The nice thing about it is I’ll only be serving about 40 people per week, and ...
they’re not all going to be eating the same thing. So if I’m picking something for one dish, I might only need to pick 15 or 20 leaves, and that doesn’t have an impact on the environment.”
Earlier this year Mat wrote an introduction for the AA Restaurant Guide, focusing on food trends and specifically foraged and wild ingredients.
Mat’s offerings will also include daily catches of fish and other locally sourced ingredients. He is also using interesting plants such as Hairy Bittercress but promises that although it doesn’t sound appetising, it is neither hairy nor bitter.
The three-course menu is £27.50 and a six-course tasting menu is priced at £47.50. The menu is predicted to change with the seasonal ingredients.
This month it includes a main course of rabbit ravioli parcels while other dishes include a slow cooked lamb terrine and a dessert of rhubarb and whisky crumble. Mat said: “It depends on what I find when I go for a walk at the start of the week. If there’s something exciting, I can tweak the menu and change it to something different, which is great.”