Former Masterchef semi-finalist to take over Sienna in Dorset

15 April 2015 by
Former Masterchef semi-finalist to take over Sienna in Dorset

Sienna, the Dorchester restaurant which won a Michelin star in 2010, is to be taken over by a former semi-finalist on the BBC TV MasterChef programme.

Marcus Wilcox, currently head chef at the Rose & Crown in Trent, near Sherborne, has acquired a lease on Sienna which Russell and Eléna Brown have run for 12 years.

The Browns will close the restaurant on 25 April to enter a new chapter building up their hospitality business, Creative About Cuisine. Russell will also work as a consultant at Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester, teach, undertake recipe development and write, including a new column in The Caterer.

In the final month of running Sienna, the couple is supporting Hospitality Action, with £5 from every booking going to the industry's benevolent charity.

Speaking at the time of the closure's announcement, Brown said: "We have had an amazing run at Sienna and are both immensely proud of our achievements during the last 12 years. There is a degree of sadness in closing, but I relish the new challenges ahead."

Dorset-born Wilcox hopes to keep the Michelin star and three AA rosettes achieved by Brown at Sienna. He will retain the name of the restaurant, which will reopen in early June following a light refurbishment.

"I'm really excited about this new opportunity," said Wilcox, who spent his earlier career in London at the Ledbury, as well as in Sussex at Gravetye Manor and Ashdown Park. "I always said that my ambition would be to return to Dorset and one day take over Sienna."

Wilcox, who competed in the 2013 series of MasterChef, described his cooking as "modern British with a twist".

Dishes planned for the new Sienna include cured sea trout, lime, Bloody Mary, avocado; slow-cooked pork belly, apple, parsnip, heritage carrots; and pistachio and olive oil cake, apricots, honeycomb.

Michelin-starred restaurant Sienna to close >>

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