Masterchef finalist Dave Coulson opens restaurant in Newcastle

Former Masterchef finalist Dave Coulson has formed a partnership to open a new restaurant in Newcastle

Alok Loomba, Geeta Ral, Dave Coulson and Kastrina Hopkins
Alok Loomba, Geeta Ral, Dave Coulson and Kastrina Hopkins

A partnership between former Masterchef finalist Dave Coulson and the team behind a successful restaurant business has seen a £250,000 investment into a brand new venture.

County Durham-born Coulson, who made it into the final three of 2010’s Masterchef: The Professionals, will head up the culinary team at Peace & Loaf, a restaurant he is opening in Jesmond, Newcastle, with business manager and fellow director Geeta Ral.

Working in partnership with Ral’s sister and brother-in-law Bob and Neeta Arora, owners of Sachins restaurant in Newcastle, the pair are creating 16 new jobs at the restaurant, which is set to open next month.

Ral said the three-floor restaurant, which will serve up “raw and simple British fayre with new ideas”, has a forecasted first year turnover of £520,000 and should the project keep to its targets there are plans to expand into a larger site, with a longer term plan to roll out the brand into new sites.

Ral, director and business manager, said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming our guests into Peace & Loaf and have all worked day and night to ensure that everything is completely perfect.

“This all stems from my brother-in-law Bob, who took part in a cooking demonstration some time ago with Dave. The two of them got on like a house on fire, so we all met up again for a meal, started throwing around lots of ideas and Peace & Loaf is the end result.

“The restaurant only has 56 seats so we hope it will be busy, and should it take off we definitely plan to expand, either into a larger restaurant or possibly by rolling it out. We’re currently recruiting for the best possible team to ensure each visit to our restaurant is memorable for all the right reasons. We’re hiring three chefs, ten front of house staff and offering three apprenticeships to catering students from Gateshead College. It’s a really exciting time.’’

Coulson, added: “There’s a lot of pressure on youngsters to perform well in exams, I don’t have any formal qualifications, I’ve just been fortunate to gain invaluable experience.

“It is with that we decided we’d take on apprentices in the restaurant, being able to share my knowledge and vibrant career history with young chefs is a dream come true.”

Newcastle law firm Sintons has handled all of the legal aspects.

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