Chef Paul Foster is optimistic that he can still hit his target to raise £100,000 to open his own restaurant in Warwickshire.
Foster, who confirmed earlier this year that he was to step down as head chef at the three-red-AA-star Mallory Court in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, to crowdfund his own restaurant, has now hit £38,750 out of his target of £100,000, with five days to go.
The chef, who joined Mallory Court two years ago from Tuddenham Mill, near Newmarket in Suffolk, hopes to fund Salt, a fine-dining restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere, through crowdfunding site kickstarter.com.
Speaking to The Caterer this week, Foster said he was still confident he could reach his goal. "It's not arrogance; I know it's not going to be easy, but if I gave up now there would have been no point in starting this process in the first place," he said.
"Everything is in the right place, the momentum is there and the attention is still there and we have some big names supporting us.
"I am expecting a few injections to come online in the next few days and hopefully that will ramp things up."
Foster has until 10.40am on 8 March to reach his target of £100,000, and plans a major fundraising push over the weekend.
"I believe in what we are going to do, and I know we can stand out in the area. I have my eye on one or two sites in Leamington Spa. We've had a lot of local support and I'm very grateful for that.
"I am determined that will make this happen, whatever it takes," he said.
In order to achieve funding, Foster has offered a range of ‘rewards' for bidders including vouchers for the restaurant, masterclasses and private dinners. Once the funding is in place, he and his wife Rhiain, a co-director in the project, hope to secure the lease on premises, cover business administration, branding, recruitment and refurbishment fees, as well as the costs for initial stock and soft and official openings.
Foster won an Acorn Award in 2011 and was named Observer Food Monthly Young Chef of the Year the same year. Prior to joining Tuddenham Mill, he worked at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, and Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham, and staged at WD50 in New York, the French Laundry in Napa Valley and Auberge de l'ole in Lyon.
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