Former BBC MasterChef winner Mat Follas has launched his second restaurant, with the opening of the Chesil Café in Portland, Dorset.
The chef-proprietor of the Wild Garlic restaurant in nearby Beaminster, has opened the café just yards from Chesil Beach, which is part of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site and will play host to the Olympic sailing.
The Chesil Café will be open for breakfast and lunch every day as well as dinner Tuesday to Saturday, serving a menu with a strong emphasis on sustainable and locally sourced food and value for money.
Commenting on the launch Follas said: "I am somewhat nervous about the opening, but it will be a challenge to be able to provide dishes at a price point that does not fit the existing restaurant, so it's very much complementary to what we are currently doing."
Follas will divide his time between the Chesil Café during the day and Wild Garlic in the evenings. Head chef Jean Paul De Roone will look after the bistro-styled evening menu, while front of house will be managed by Katie Barnard, who has joined from Wild Garlic where she worked for two years.
De Roone commented: "The Chesil Café has around 40 covers during the day and that is expandable in the evenings to around 80. Outside we have 30 seats so when we do get some sunny days again there will be plenty of seats for all.
"The location of the café dictates to some degree the type of menu that will suit the daytime clientele, which will be mainly families along with day visitors to the seaside. Family affordability is certainly what we are aiming at."
Follas added: "We're excited to be part of the new centre at Chesil; it gives us an opportunity to demonstrate great food without the price tag that is often perceived to accompany using sustainable produce.
"We will be getting fantastic mussels Marinières as well as a local French style fish soup or Bouillabaisse, burgers using the Dorset Wildlife Trust Angus and Galloway beef herds and of course, the best fish and chips to eat in or to take away."
The all-day menu will include Cajun spiced pulled beef brisket salad and mayonnaise (£8.50); linguine vongole, Cornish surf clams, chorizo cream and smoky bacon (£11.50), 12-hour triple cooked belly pork new potatoes (£15.75), and BBQ steaks (£16.50).
By Geoff Moore
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