View from Dorchester
26 February 2014
A former MasterChef winner will be joining the team at The Casterbridge Hotel, Dorchester.
Mat Follas, who will be opening a restaurant at The Casterbridge Hotel, Dorchester
Mat Follas, MasterChef winner 2009, will be opening his new restaurant on Friday and Saturday evenings, starting on Friday, March 7th.
Mat’s new restaurant will take the award winning food from his former restaurant in Beaminster, The Wild Garlic, as its starting point.
As chef at The Wild Garlic, Mat and his team were awarded two AA Rosettes for three years until it closed; were listed by The Michelin Guide and The Good Food Guide; and were highly recommended in The Guardian and The Telegraph with scores of nine and a half and nine out of 10 respectively.
Jasper Gerard of The Telegraph described The Wild Garlic as “sensational” and Matthew Norman of The Guardian said Mat is “an exceedingly rare talent”. Mat wrote an introduction for the AA restaurant guide for 2014, focusing on food trends and specifically foraged and wild ingredients, which are elements included in his dishes.
Mat said: “I’m delighted to be heading back to the kitchen, this time it’s 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.”
For more details visit www.matfollas.com.
To book a table at Mat Follas at The Casterbridge Phone: 01305 260884
Chef Patron of Michelin starred restaurant Sienna, in Dorchester, Dorset
3 February 2014
WHITE melt/heat to 45°c - Cool to 27°c - Re heat to 28/29°c
MILK melt/heat to 45°c - Cool to 27°c - Re heat to 29/30°c
DARK melt/heat to 45/50°c - Cool to 28°c – Re heat to 31/32°c
(Check with manufacturers for specific temperatures)
This is a reasonably firm-set ganache that can be cut with a warm dry knife, in the absence of a guitar cutter! I have found that a cheese wire works reasonably well for cutting firm caramels and ganaches, necessity being the mother of all invention……
600g 70% dark chocolate
450g double cream
110g dark Muscovado sugar
5g Maldon sea salt
50g unsalted butter
30g good quality dark rum
Websites & Twitter
On 21st January, Mat met up with Mark Botwright and Charlie Hicks at Mark's Farm in Chideock, Dorset. They wanted to spend the day experimenting with the Black Garlic that Mark has produced and Charlie made a film about it ...
AA - The Restaurant Guide 2014
Pennywort, bog myrtle, hen of the wood - strange sounding foraged ingredients are cropping up on menus everywhere. But do they taste any good or is this just another passing food fad? Here, foraging fan Mat Follas, winner of the BBC's Masterchef in 2009 and chef-patron of The Wild Garlic in Dorset, shares his view.
Mat's 'cheese and pickles' dish features leaves and flowers from wild chervil (cow parsley)
'MasterChef' winners Mat Follas and Tim Anderson and 'Great British Menu' favourite Johnnie Mountain cooked for a one-night-only food-filled extravaganza at The Chancery, to celebrate New Years Eve.
"New Year's Eve at The Chancery was brilliant. The food was stunning, Mat and Tim on amazing form and Johnnie - loved the guy. The food from all three was truly exceptional, and for those numbers at that level, it really was something very special."
Keith Baker, Form & Cue
Mat likes ...