Celebrity Chefs in Dorset

Many a top chef has relocated to Dorset to take advantage of fresh produce right on their doorstep!

Mark Hix

Celebrated chef, restaurateur and food writer Mark Hix is known for his original take on British gastronomy. Mark kicked off his catering career at Weymouth College in Dorset and at the age of 18 he moved to London to work.  After 17 years as Chef Director at Caprice Holdings, he opened his first restaurant in 2008.

Outside of London in Mark’s native Dorset is HIX Oyster and Fish House and HIX Townhouse, a boutique hotel, both in Lyme Regis.  HIX Oyster and Fish House boasts stunning panoramic views across the Jurassic Coast and Lyme Regis with a daily changing menu serving up fresh seafood and locally foraged produce in true HIX style.

Mark also hosts an annual food festival in Lyme Regis, Food Rocks, to showcase the best producers and suppliers in Dorset and surrounding areas.

Lesley Waters

Lesley is well known for her regular television appearances on Ready Steady Cook, Great Food Live and This Morning.  Originally a Londoner, Lesley was charmed by the beauty of West Dorset and inspired by the superb quality of local produce on her doorstep that in 2006 she opened her own institution, the Lesley Waters Cookery School, at Abbots Hill in Dorset.

Mat Follas

Mat won the TV series BBC MasterChef in 2009 and shortly afterwards opened his first restaurant, The Wild Garlic, in Beaminster to considerable national acclaim.

In 2016 Mat opened Bramble Café and Deli in Poundbury, Dorchester with his wife Amanda and their business partner Kate.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Hugh is known for his earthy, back to basics approach to cooking and he has become a familiar face on TV with his River Cottage series on Channel 4.  Hugh established River Cottage HQ in Dorset in 2004 and brought the abundance of Dorset’s larder to our screens.  The operation is now based at Park Farm near Axminster on the Dorset / Devon border.

So, if it’s inspired some of the country’s top chefs then why not pay us a visit and discover our reputation for one of the UK’s must visit foodie destinations for yourself.

Mitch Tonks

Mitch's route from accountancy to culinary stardom was as unorthodox as it was successful. 

Today he is a talented chef, innovative restaurateur, and first-class cookery writer.  But above all he remains a passionate advocate for the delights of the sea.  Among many awards, he is the MSC Chef of the Year, recently received a Lifetime achievement award from the Herald Express;  Observer Food Monthly awarded The Seahorse Best UK Restaurant, Tatler named him Restaurateur of the Year, and the World Gourmands Awards named his Fishmonger’s Cookbook Best Fresh Fish Book.  He has written five seafood cookery books and makes regular TV appearances. 

His Rockfish restaurant group began in Devon in 2010 and has now expanded to Weymouth and Poole.

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