New eatery appoints Masterchef to kitchen

Chef Selection: Former Masterchef semi-finalist Matt Dobson has been appointed as Head Chef at Formartine's
Chef Selection: Former Masterchef semi-finalist Matt Dobson has been appointed as Head Chef at Formartine's

A new North-east visitor attraction has appointed a former MasterChef: The Professionals semi-finalist to head up its kitchen when it opens this spring.

Matt Dobson has been named head chef at the restaurant at Formartine’s, a visitor centre opening near Tarves this April. The talented chef was placed fourth in the 2009 series of ‘MasterChef: The Professionals’ and has more than 15 years of professional cooking experience.

Formartine’s, which is located on the edge of the Haddo Estate, will feature a restaurant as well as a fine food hall stocking local artisan products. It will also offer a range of outdoor activities, including woodland walks. It is a joint partnership between John Cooper, who owns The Smokehouse in Methlick, and Lord and Lady Aberdeen, proprietors of Haddo Estate.

At Formartine’s, Mr Dobson will be responsible for creating a menu for the centre’s eatery, which will focus on local produce and smoked ingredients created by The Smokehouse.

“It is a great opportunity to be involved in such an exciting new project for Aberdeenshire and to be responsible for creating a fantastic culinary experience for visitors to the restaurant”, said Mr Dobson. “Working with the best local produce is a dream for any chef, all food has a story to tell and the menu we are perfecting is set to reflect that.”

Mr Dobson has spent most of his professional career working in hotel kitchens. His first head chef role being at an acclaimed Aberdeenshire brassiere.

He went on to achieve the prestigious 2 AA Rosette award for his culinary skills for three years running between 2007 and 2010 in two of Scotland’s top country house hotels. He has also performed cookery demonstrations at events such as The Royal Highland Show and the Dundee Food and Flower Festival.

Mr Cooper said that they were “thrilled” to have Mr Dobson on board, and that he would “create a fantastic menu for our eatery.”

“His Masterchef experience is just one of many credentials he will bring to Formartine’s and his passion for food will ensure our customers will benefit from some wonderful creations from our kitchen”, he said.