Mat Follas crowned Masterchef 2009

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: New zealand

Mat Follas crowned Masterchef 2009
Mat Follas, a 42-year old New Zealand IT engineer from Dorset, has been crowned the Masterchef winner for 2009 after beating fellow finalists Andy Oliver and Chris Gates to the title

The Kiwi saw off competition from budding chef/restaurateurs over eight weeks of heats, including the challenging final week in which the last three contestants had to impress judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace by cooking for the British Army, the 450-strong Royal Household at Buckingham Palace and 200 guests at the Burghley Horse Trials.

The final, aired on BBC2 on Thursday night (26 February), saw Follas put what he had learned to the test in a three-course meal: a starter of Trio of Wild Rabbit, a main course of Spider Crab with Hand Cut Chips and Sea Vegetables, and a dessert of Lavender Mousse with Hokey Pokey and a Blackberry Sauce.

Stunned by his win, Follas said: “My final three courses were very personal and incorporated my love of food, foraging and catching great ingredients. I`m humbled and proud that my dishes won such an amazing competition. I have never worked so hard in all my life!”

Gregg Wallace said: “There is now no doubting the absolute originality and brilliance of Mat. The guy is cooking his own style. He is absolutely superb.”

Follas walks away from the show with the coveted Masterchef trophy and the aim to open his own restaurant in Dorset, although he told the Daily Mail​ plans may be shelved for the time being due to problems surrounding financing the venture.

Related topics: Events & Awards, People

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