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Highcliff Grill at the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott - meeting chef Matt Budden

PUBLISHED: 10:26 04 March 2015 | UPDATED: 10:26 04 March 2015

Matt Budden

Matt Budden


Fresh, seasonal and local is the award-wining trinity that inflects the dishes created by Matt Budden, the Head Chef at the Highcliff Grill at the Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott

As a founding member of the Sustainable Food City initiative for Bournemouth, Head Chef, Matt Budden is passionate about sourcing from local farmers and fishermen. Using their produce he has created a vibrant menu of fresh and seasonal dishes reflecting modern British cuisine.

What was your first formative experience of cooking?

Cooking with my grandmother with produce from my grandfather’s allotment – he used to grow the most amazing tasting tomatoes.

What made you decide to be a chef?

I studied art and design at university but always had an interest in cooking. Most of my part time jobs throughout university were within catering before I started on my journey as a chef.

Who are your culinary heroes and why?

My heroes are quite diverse, from Escoffier for teaching us the classics; Brillat-Savarin’s brilliant text The Physiology of Taste for an insight to the bizarre food world that existed in his times; Elizabeth David for showing us the beauty and simplicity behind the food; to the modern masters of Raymond Blanc and the Roux Brothers.

What inspires your menus at the Highcliff Grill?

The seasons and what is available to us from the local area. We love to discover new suppliers and producers that are utilising the best that Dorset has to offer.

What are your signature dishes?

Our menus are constantly evolving but one of the classics that we keeping coming back to is our Dorset Apple Bakewell, Clotted Cream Ice Cream and Cider Syrup.

I believe that you are also rather famous for your fabulous afternoon teas?

That’s because everything is baked by us - from the Cranberry and Orange scones to the Gateaux Opera and the Lemon and Thyme Drizzle Cakes. We involve the whole brigade in the designing of menus and most importantly, we taste all of the new cakes just to ensure they are of the highest quality - a hard job but someone has to do it!

Do you source your ingredients locally?

We certainly do and we have amazing support from some truly inspirational local suppliers. They are all named on the front cover of the menu as ‘Our Local Food Heroes’. Some of our favourites include Capreolus Charcuterie, From Dorset with Love for jams and chutneys, Jurassic Meats, Samways Fish, Chesil Smokery, La Chasse and the Dorset Watercress Company.

What sort of dishes do you personally like to sit down to at home?

As a family we are big fans of simple, wholesome, sharing dishes. One of our favourites is a braised Moroccan lamb shoulder tagine with taboulleh.

Anything new you will be trying out on your menus in 2015?

We’ve just had a sample of Dorset snails which we’re very excited about. We are also looking at a wonderful old recipe for Dorset Jugged Beef that we want to incorporate into our menus.



Starters from £7.50

• Roast breast of Wield Wood Farm Pigeon with butternut squash, hazelnut granola, Dorset watercress & curried apple chutney

• Seared Chesil Beach Mackerel Fillets with apple, celery and walnut puree & crème fraiche

• Beetroot, Croxton Manor Goats Curd and Roquette salad with toasted sunflower seeds & cobnut oil

Mains from £14.50

• 35 Day ‘Dry Aged’ Beef (Ribeye, Sirloin or Fillet) from Fossil Farm with triple cooked chips, oxtail & parsley crust, béarnaise sauce, Dorset watercress

• Spiced Shallot and Roasted Garlic Fritter with marinated root vegetable tabbouleh

• Fillet of Lyme Bay Grey Mullet with Jerusalem artichokes, Dorset brown crab, samphire & bouillabaisse dressing

Dessert from £4.50

• Valrhona Dark Chocolate Pudding with vanilla ice cream and cherry compote

• Nutmeg & Pear Crème Brûlée with pear compote and Garibaldi biscuits

• Banana, Salted Caramel & Almond Trifle


Bournemouth Highcliff Marriott Hotel, St Michael’s Road, Bournemouth, BH2 5DU. For more details visit or call 01202 557702



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