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I'm sure Mat was thrilled to read this classic piece of stereo-typing.

"He wears a short goatee and owns a Harley-Davidson, and since the win has been assured that he is a gay icon."

Edited by Harters (log)

John Hartley

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If he wants to put good food on a plate, he needs to go and work for someone and learn his professional trade.

Of course there are exceptions to following the traditional route into professional cooking. Heston is a good example, Rick Stein is another. Maybe Mat will be another

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You never know......he wont want for pre-opening publicity, thats for sure. Despite how I sound I do wish him well, just know how hard it is out there.

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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  • 1 month later...

What i'd like to know is what happened to the young girl off last years final. I believe that she went to Gagnaire for the final week's challenge thing. She came up with an elaborate campfire dessert, seemed like a real talent.

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2008 winner James Nathan has not been quite so focused on a restaurant, although he still wants the chef part badly.

http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2008...hef-winner.html

James is a sous chef at Bath Priory now. Michael Caines is exec and James Sheridan is his head chef. I am planning a trip soon, I wanted to give it a few months for Caines' influence to bed down after Chris Horridge moved on. James Nathan still does a bit of PR at food festivals, representing The Priory, he is at "Flavours of the West" in Bath on the 4th and 5th of July.

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What i'd like to know is what happened to the young girl off last years final. I believe that she went to Gagnaire for the final week's challenge thing. She came up with an elaborate campfire dessert, seemed like a real talent.

She (Emily Ludolf) went to Oxford to read English at Wadham College. She already had the place. According to the Daily Mail she doesn't seem to want to cook professionally but may write about food sometime in the future.

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Just an update on Mat, I almost feel that I have a vested interest :smile:

At the very least he will have his own restaurant, thats one of the boxes ticked.

http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2009...-in-dorset.html

I wonder what he can do to balance his limitations and lack of training in restaurant management with his obvious talent?

Perhaps hiring a strong brigade and then relying on them to turn out plates which he has designed, while observing and learning for a year or so might be the way ahead..

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  • 2 weeks later...
Mat Follas has a blog in today's online Guardianin  which he tells of the progress of his embryonic Beaminster restaurant to date and invites readers' advice on space and design.

I guess it saves paying big money to consultants for their suggestions.

One contributor pointed out that it is less than three weeks until the proposed opening day: hardly enough time for any ideas to be utilised. However, not bad PR for a new place.

I do have quite a morbid fascination for the thread; it is a really interesting insight into what people want in a restaurant. If I assume the WoM site represents a fair slice of the dining public, it is clear the British public get the restaurants they deserve. Which is quite sad.

We don't live far away so may take a trip and report back. The menu seems limited and affected i.e. the water buffalo steak. Today Matthew Norman (in The Guardian) gives a rave review to "At the Chapel" in Bruton small village 30 miles from Mat's Beaminster restaurant: it will be interesting to see the restaurants compare, one already successfully catering for village locals the other aspiring too.

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Mat Follas has a blog in today's online Guardianin  which he tells of the progress of his embryonic Beaminster restaurant to date and invites readers' advice on space and design.

I guess it saves paying big money to consultants for their suggestions.

One contributor pointed out that it is less than three weeks until the proposed opening day: hardly enough time for any ideas to be utilised. However, not bad PR for a new place.

I do have quite a morbid fascination for the thread; it is a really interesting insight into what people want in a restaurant. If I assume the WoM site represents a fair slice of the dining public, it is clear the British public get the restaurants they deserve. Which is quite sad.

We don't live far away so may take a trip and report back. The menu seems limited and affected i.e. the water buffalo steak. Today Matthew Norman (in The Guardian) gives a rave review to "At the Chapel" in Bruton small village 30 miles from Mat's Beaminster restaurant: it will be interesting to see the restaurants compare, one already successfully catering for village locals the other aspiring too.

I hope Mat takes the best advice on offer, that is to open asap, don't spend a lot on the place, that can come later. He needs to start taking money very quickly as overheads are relentless.

Looks like he has a terrific amount of support out there, including moi, lets hope it all works out for him

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Apart from water buffalo steak, which sticks out like a sore thumb as trying too hard, the menu reads superbly and i'd love to visit.

On a related note, he's at the Cheltenham Food and Drink Festival next weekend should anyone be particularly interested.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sadly I won't be one of the three hundred ? or so guests at the opening this Saturday, even though I feel that I have a vested interest, its just too far away.

I'm really looking forward to the first reviews posted here, may it all go well.

Here's a bit of a progress report

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wor...at-follas-staff

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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  • 3 weeks later...
Opening report and comments in the Guardian

I popped in for lunch today, so an early report.

It is a good looking restaurant, which shows the person who put it together has good taste. Chunky wooden tables (as mentioned on WoM) are interesting and add character. It feels like a cross between a nice cafe and a very informal restaurant, which is good, because that is what it is.

gallery_58133_6172_7074.jpg

FOH are very friendly, and create a good atmosphere, I ate early so the dining room was half full, but the pacing seems good with customers well spaced across the service. They are full for weekend dinners for a few months (I think I heard October), and the Thursday is pretty tight. It sounds like Friday lunch fills up in advance and they were also full today. Business is obviously good.

The lunch menu is very limited, 3 starters, mains and desserts with one special. In all honsety it isn't a menu that creates excitment, it seems pared back for lunchtime simplicity, an example is a "water buffalo burger" rather than the dinner version of "water buffalo fillet steak".

So far so good, then the bread arrives and so does a sinking feeling, sliced factory brown bread. OK the oil with it is quite good, but Mat needs to source better bread, poor bread doesn't set the meal up very well.

I chose a "Sweet Chilli Squid" to start, it was nice and tender, and could have had more chilli kick (£7).

gallery_58133_6172_7116.jpg

Next "Mackrel with potato salad and a gooseberry sauce", the fish was OK, the sauce OK, the potato salad OK (but a little undercooked for my taste), and the samphire was OK (£11).

gallery_58133_6172_8395.jpg

For dessert the "Lavender Ice cream" which lacked a really strong lavender punch, and came with a strawberry sauce and chocolate crackle, unfortuantly the flavours all merged and it ended tasting a bit sickly (£4).

gallery_58133_6172_1627.jpg

I liked the restaurant, and I think Mat has got a lot right, avoiding many of the common problems in small start-up like this. However, whilst the food is OK, it really isn't very ambitious and really reminds me of decent dinner party food rather than the standard I would expect in a restaurant. The food is a little plain, and lacks the garnishes and presentation a professional kitchen would give. I did only try lunch and dinner dishes may be more sophisticated. But, I think he may have the measure of his local market and from what I saw the punters loved it, more ambitious food may actually lose business; the ladies on the next table were debating whether to bring their husbands but thought the food may be too complex for them. If I was in the area I would give it another go, but wouldn't go through the hassle of booking very far in advance.

Good luck to Mat because it looks like he may have a great business on his hands, a business that addresses the local market rather than draws in food fanatics like us.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 7 months later...

I just had to add to this thread as it appears that (according to Jasper Gerard) some pretty good food is coming out of his kitchen.

Also its fantastic to hear he's still packing them in.

Anybody else been recently?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/restaurants/7720948/Dorset-restaurant-guide-The-Wild-Garlic-in-Dorset.html

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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