Mat Follas

Mat was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, where his father had been posted with the New Zealand Navy. Although he grew-up in New Zealand, Mat has spent most of his adult life in England and has made the UK his home. However, when it comes to rugby, his loyalty remains firmly with New Zealand and he has been, and always will be a supporter of the 'All Blacks'; he conceedes to supporting England during 'The Six Nations' each February. Mat's background is in engineering. Beginning with an apprenticeship at the Naval Dockyards in Auckland, NZ, his career took him to Melbourne, Australia and then to London, before returning to New Zealand to gain a degree in Electronics & Computer Science as a mature student. He has been living in the UK and has built a very successful career in IT over the last 12 years. Outside of his career, Mat loves to travel widely, spending time in Central Europe, North America and South East Asia, including a period living in Thailand teaching people to scuba dive. This wide exposure to different cultures and food is reflected in his cooking influences. Cooking at a high level came late to Mat. After moving to West Dorset with his family in 2002, Mat discovered that British waters offer great scuba diving opportunities, and with that came lots of fresh seafood. A day's cooking course at Rick Stein's Seafood School was the start of a journey that has culminated in opening and running his own restaurant. Mat is passionate about cooking with local, wild ingredients, as well as learning about the fantastic bounty of sea vegetables and hedgerow produce that can be found all around us. His dishes use these naturally delicious ingredients to produce food that is full of flavour and a delight to eat. Mat's dream of having his own Restaurant serving real food with something wild at its heart, has become a reality.

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