In conversation with… Mat Follas

Kiwi Mat Follas won Masterchef in 2009, impressing John Torode and Greg Wallace with his menu of ‘Trio of Wild Rabbit’, ‘Spider Crab with Hand Cut chips and Sea Vegetables’, and a dessert of ‘Lavender Mousse with Hokey Pokey and a Blackberry Sauce.’ In June 2009 he opened his restaurant, The Wild Garlic in Beaminster, Dorset, with a cleverly crafted menu focusing on local and foraged ingredients. The Good Food Guide 2012 commented of Mat’s food, “…direct, earthy, heart-on-sleeve dishes make up the short-choice menus, fuelled by a dedication to well-sourced seasonal produce.”

He’s also a man who knows a thing or two about Scotch eggs. Selected as one of the judges for the first ever Scotch Egg Challenge in 2011, Mat sampled  40 Scotch eggs in an attempt to find the UK’s very best. That’s a lot of Scotch eggs!

Q. In three words, how would you describe a Scotch egg?
A. Uncomplicated, moist and tasty.

Q. Best served hot or cold?
A. Hot!

Q. Served with or without condiments? If with, then which?
A. Without!

Q. Your winning menu on Masterchef  in 2009 included Wild Rabbit and Spider Crab. Could these be used to devlop a Scotch egg, or are there any other variations you enjoy?
A. I’m not sure, but black pudding works, and there are duck and quails eggs to replace hen… but a traditional one with sausage meat works best for me.

Q. When you’re next visiting home in New Zealand, do you promise to teach them about the glory of the Scotch egg?
A. I promise!

Q. In your opinion, where serves the best Scotch egg?
A. Best egg I’ve had recently is Dave Ahern’s (@CorkGourmetGuy) ‘All Day Breakfast Scotch egg’ at Ben’s Canteen. It’s improved since coming 5th at #scotcheggchallenge … need a repeat challenge.

Follow Mat on Twitter: @matkiwi

Mat’s restaurant, The Wild Garlic: www.thewildgarlic.co.uk

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