A Kentish chef who lost three stone by eating his own tapas-inspired food is to introduce a new dining area and menu based on his own healthy small-plate dishes.
Chef-owner Jason Freedman, who runs the beachside Minnis Bar & Restaurant in Birchington (between Whitstable and Ramsgate), is set to open a new 50-seat section named Taste of the Med @ The Minnis, on the ground floor of the current site.
Opening in May, the new dining area and its revamped menu will focus on Mediterranean-style tapas and mezze food, including seafood and vegetarian choices, inspired by Freedman's weight loss journey.
Dishes at the new venue will focus on small plates of beans, plants and wholegrains, plus fish, seafood, some red meat, and sides of bread or a small amount of pasta.
Food will be locally sourced or home-grown when possible, while fizzy drinks and sugary beverages will be replaced with water or antioxidant-boosting red wine.
Speaking of his new venture, Freedam said that as well as the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, another key element was the social aspect and a sense of enjoyment around eating.
He said: "[Mediterraneans] don't sit down for meals in front of a television set; they usually sit in groups with friends and family, they relax and enjoy their food at a leisurely pace. While losing weight I always enjoyed a glass of good quality wine - which aids digestion and is good for the heart - but I did cut back on the chocolate, which is my weakness."
There has been a café or restaurant on the site of the three-storey Minnis Bar & Restaurant, in Minnis Bay, since 1934. The current site has two large dining areas, plus a private room for hire, as well as an outdoor terrace, a beach takeaway, and kiosk service in summer.