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Chef Paul Foster launches crowdfunding campaign to open first restaurant

By Sophie Witts , 08-Feb-2016
Last updated on 08-Feb-2016 at 13:33 GMT2016-02-08T13:33:27Z

Chef Paul Foster launches crowdfunding campaign to open first restaurant

Paul Foster has launched a crowdfunding campaign to open his first fine dining restaurant in Warwickshire.

The chef is aiming to raise £100,000 towards opening a modern British restaurant serving high quality food in a ‘relaxed, friendly environment’.

Foster announced last week that he was stepping down from his position as head chef at Mallory Court hotel in Royal Leamington Spa after two years.

Writing on his Kickstarter page the chef said he was doing so to pursue his ‘lifelong dream’ of opening his own restaurant.

“It's always been my goal to have my own restaurant and it is now the time I believe I can achieve that,” he said.

“I didn't want to try it too soon when I didn't have enough experience or knowledge and I don't want to leave it too late and miss out on a great opportunity.” 

‘Massive risk’

In a video about the campaign Foster said he was hoping to open something ‘different’ and ‘cool’ serving quality produce.

“My food is not about trying to build the Eiffel tower out of a carrot, it’s about the best produce cooked with respect…natural, British and flavour driven,” he said.

“The risks are massive to me personally and career-wise. I’ve had to leave my job, which I love, to do this Kickstarter, but this is something that I have to do.”

Foster is planning to open the restaurant alongside his wife Rhiain, who will act as Director handling business administration, legal compliance and HR.

The funding will go towards securing a lease on premises, business administration costs, recruitment, branding, redecoration, purchasing stock and setting up a soft launch and official opening.

The project will only be funded if it raises over £100,000 by 8 March. Since launching on Sunday (7 February) the Kickstarter page has gained £6,913 from 47 backers.

Michelin-starred experience

Foster's career has included stints in a series of Michelin-starred kitchens including Thomas Keller’s three Michelin-starred French Laundry in California and  L’Auberge de l’Ile in Lyon.

The chef joined Mallory Court from Tuddenham Mill, near Newmarket in Suffolk and has worked at Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire and Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham.

Speaking in a video accompanying the Kickstarter campaign, Sat Bains said: “Paul is one of those guys who gets his hands dirty, he’s very much hands on and is respectful. When you look at that as a package there’s no arrogance, it’s about getting the job done to the best of your capabilities every single day, and that’s what Paul will bring to the table for his restaurant.

“Hopefully he’s going to go on and become one of the most successful chefs in the country.”


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