8th Dec, 2016

Coventry chef reaches £100,000 fundraising target to open his own restaurant

Shaun Reynolds 8th Apr, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A COVENTRY-based chef has raised the required amount to open and run his own restaurant in Leamington after some substantial donations helped him realise his dream.

Paul Foster, a former head chef at Mallory Court Hotel in Leamington, raised £100,000 in just over a month to help fund the grand opening of his new restaurant ‘Salt’.

The former Henley College student used fundraising site Kickstarter to launch his campaign – though if Paul failed to reach his £100,000 target, he would lose all of his money.

He landed his life as a chef at a small two rosette restaurant near to Coventry.

From there, Paul has worked in restaurants all over the globe at places including California, Lyon and New York.

His awards include three AA rosettes, achieving top 50 status in the UK’s good food guide and has appeared on hit BBC shows The Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen.

Paul achieved his target with just 24 hours remaining, though admitted he didn’t celebrate in fear of someone pulling out of a large donation.

Speaking to The Observer, Paul said: “It was tough with one day to go but we saw a boost come through just after the end of the month which I’m presuming was people donating after pay day.

“I had a nice bottle of wine to celebrate but didn’t want to count my chickens until it was confirmed that the money was there.

“I’m working on a property at the moment but I have plenty of plans in place with regards to an opening night and will hopefully have another appearance on Saturday Kitchen soon to promote the venue.”

Describing his new restaurant as a relaxed, fine dining, area – Paul said it will be strange being his own boss, though he’s looking forward to the challenge.

He added: “I’ve done this my whole career and love to use natural, seasoned, food.

“Dining in a restaurant is meant to be relaxed and I think too many places have rules about wearing suits that can make you uncomfortable.

“I want people to come in my restaurant and enjoy it whilst relaxing and having fun.”