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Sasha Matkevich at The Green in Sherborne - meet the chef

PUBLISHED: 14:56 02 April 2015 | UPDATED: 14:56 02 April 2015

Sasha, Head Chef and Owner of The Green

Sasha, Head Chef and Owner of The Green

Clint Randall - pixel pr phototography

With a passion for locally sourced and foraged ingredients, celebrating the seasons is a taste-filled adventure for Sasha Matkevich, Head Chef of The Green in Sherborne

Trio of crabTrio of crab

Classic cooking with a modern twist describes the innovative menu at The Green Restaurant in Sherborne. Head Chef and Owner, Sasha Matkevich, has a passion for fresh, local produce and often forages for wild ingredients with his family in the countryside. You will also find echoes of a happy childhood spent in the Caucasus Mountains on his menu.

What are the tastes of your childhood?

My grandmother’s house in southern Russia was always full of cooking aromas and the smell of freshly baked bread. When I make garlic brioche for our veal burger I’m reminded of the delicious al fresco family lunches I enjoyed as a child.

And your first experience of cooking?

Although I studied at a Culinary College in St Petersburg my true introduction to gastronomy began when I was taken under the wing of Philip Britten at the Capital Hotel in London. Philip had an extraordinary understanding of food and a commitment to freshness, an ethos which runs through what we do at The Green. I continued my training with Stefano Cavallini at the Halkin, and then joined Adam Fellows at the Michelin-starred Mulberry Restaurant at Charlton House in Somerset.

What inspires your menus at The Green?

Seasonality is the most important factor for me. There is nothing better than preparing a risotto from the first morel mushrooms of spring, delivered fresh that morning.

What is your signature dish?

Our Trio of Crab starter which uses ethically sourced crab brought in live straight from the Dorset coast. The dish uses every part of the crab: crème brûlée from the white meat, a tuile and Mediterranean soup from the brown meat and the shell is used to make the vinaigrette for the salad.

Are there Russian flavours from your childhood in your menus?

I grew up in the Caucasus Mountains, a region with a much warmer climate than most of Russia, so there was an abundance of ingredients such as beautiful peaches, apricots, aubergines and tomatoes. I still enjoy Borsch soup but I make mine with olive oil in the style of the region where I come from. I also use other healthy Russian ingredients such as wholegrain buckwheat.

Have you a favourite local ingredient?

Dorset truffles! We use it as a garnish as well as blending it into the mayonnaise that accompany our homemade chips. Gathering and preserving ingredients is something I enjoy doing - sea buckthorn berries are a particular favourite of mine which I use in our char grilled scallop starter.

What flavours excite your taste buds?

Spring is nearly upon us so wild garlic is something I am looking forward to using, as well as fresh nettles for soup. I would love to get my hands on some silver birch tree sap!

What would be your perfect supper and who would you share it with?

I would like to join Peter the Great for one of his legendary Russian feasts!

Is there anything new you will be trying out on your menus for 2015?

I am looking forward to trying Cornish Sturgeon Caviar and the idea of building a dish around one inspiring new ingredient.

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THE GREEN SAMPLE MENU

Starters from £5.95

• Char grilled scallops with pine kernels, black pudding crisp and sea buckthorn

• Hay smoked salmon with horseradish mousse, keta caviar and Borodinsky bread

• Guinea fowl ballotine with apple and herb salad, walnut satsivi and quails eggs

Mains from £15.50

• West Country fillet of beef with potato gallette, shallots in red wine & cep sauce

• Organic spelt risotto with Dorset truffle, wild garlic & goats cheddar

• Fillet of wild sea bass with confit tomato, squid ink and smoked aubergine

Dessert from £5.95

• Spring rhubarb crumble with Imogen’s orange marmalade ice cream

• Ginger sticky toffee pudding with lime leaf ice cream and apple brandy caramel

• Spiced port poached pear with meadowsweet cream and walnut praline

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The Green Restaurant, 3 The Green, Sherborne, DT9 3HY 01935 813821; greenrestaurant.co.uk

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