New Orleans, Louisiana and Texas Roadtrip

It's been such a fantastic year at the restaurant, and I have loved every minute of it. The beginning of this month saw me pass on my Masterchef title to Dhruv Baker; such a worthy winner of the competition that changed my life. I wish him at least as much success and fun from his win as I have and still enjoy. 

We have been open for a year I have seen the menu change each season, sometimes daily, according to what is growing and what is available. You can be sure that whatever's on our menu is fresh and locally sourced, if possible, even if it does cause me a bit of a headache sometimes!

The staff I now have in the restaurant are great, and as a team we are continuously creating food and an eating atmosphere that we enjoy giving to our customers, and hopefully also they enjoy. I am always trying to push myself to keep the best standards, but still strive to improve and explore new ideas. One thing I have always wanted to do is open a cafe, the kind of cafe I talked about on Masterchef. I now have that chance and have put in an offer at a site in Beaminster, just opposite the restaurant.  Fingers crossed, if it all goes through, when it opens I want to give everyone who comes in a great cup of coffee and also something fun and yummy to eat, without necessarily having a three course meal. A more tapas approach to food so I can do dishes that are inspired from other cultures, that everyone can mix and match - ending with a combination on their plate they wouldn't really have thought of having before.

So in order to get some inspiration, (and also a bit of a break and fun !) I am off to do a Motel 6 road trip in America. 

As of Monday I will be in New Orleans and riding a Harley Davidson through to Lafayette, then on to visit the Tabasco factory and staying in Lake Charles. A quick cooking demo on a local TV station and then off along the coast to San Antonio, through to Houston for a couple of days and then off to Dallas, before a stop in Alexandria takes me in a loop to New Orleans again.  En route I am going to be chatting with anyone I can about local wild foods that can be found, and of course getting inspiration for my cafe dishes to bring back home. I am hoping bloggers and twitterers will give me suggestions of where they think I should eat.....and if you have advice on any wild foods I can find as well. Whatever I do find I will be taking pictures of and posting on this blog.  

I planned the trip with Motel 6, they have an online trip planner at where I put in each stop I wanted and they figured out the journey route. Great for me and I know that I have a bed waiting for me at the end of every day's riding. 
I know the restaurant will be in the safest of hands while I'm traveling USA, which isn't for long anyway. A quick break so I can come back refreshed and ready to step up a gear as the restaurant moves into the summer months. Get in touch with me please and let me know where you think I should eat, and what to look out for in the countryside. The trip is only a couple of days away, and I can't wait!



  1. Ah wow what a cool post, have a really fun trip hunni.

  2. Hi Mat, unfortunately I can't suggest any eating places as I've never been to that part of the world. Just wanted to say have a great time & am looking forward to hearing about the cafe when it opens. Hope it'll be as successful as the reaturant has been.

  3. Wow - have a great time!!

  4. A road trip. On a Harley. Wow, you lucky blighter. Look forward to hearing all about it - and you opening up that cafe.

  5.'re doing what my hubby and I dream of doing one day, and that's riding the open road in the USA on a Harley! Look forward to hearing all about it. In the meantime, you must visit Cafe du Monde in New Orleans for coffee and beignets. Delish!
    Ride safe,

    Helen and Neil Hall

  6. Oh yeah...I just remembered another great New Orleans treat you must taste whilst there Matt, and that's a Muffaletta sandwich. Check them out at the Central Grocery in the French Quarter. They're awesome!

  7. Hi Mat! Great blog- if you ever get a chance, come to Northern California, where the eat-local movement is insanely strong. Oh, and we have good coffee here in the San Francisco Bay Area, too. All the more reason to come!

    BTW, just in case you got a can of the Cafe du Monde, I suggest you brew it black as tar (a french press will do) and drink it with a little condensed milk. Even better over ice.