Page last updated at 10:28 GMT, Friday, 22 May 2009 11:28 UK

MasterChef due to open restaurant

Mat Follas, MasterChef 2009 champion
Mat Follas was unable to buy his own restaurant due to the recession

An IT engineer who was crowned winner of BBC MasterChef is to open a restaurant after delaying the move for months because of the recession.

Mat Follas, 42, of Beaminster, Dorset took the trophy in an all-male final shown on BBC2 in February.

But the day after it was screened, six months after filming had ended, he said he was not yet able to fund his own restaurant.

He has since bought the lease for the Black Cat Bistro in Beaminster.

At the time the final was shown, Mr Follas said he had made a decision that if he made it that far, he would become a full-time chef and buy a restaurant.

Mr Follas plans to open the 34-seat restaurant in June under the new name The Wild Garlic.

The 16th Century, grade II-listed property is located in the centre of the town.

The married father-of-three has said his long-term plan is to serve the type of wild dishes he cooked in the programme.

His winning three-course menu consisted of wild ingredients including rabbit, spider crab and lavender.

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IT engineer wins MasterChef 2009
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