HE’S not only a highly skilled executive chef at at Schpoons & Forx restaurant, Matt Budden is also a keen ambassador of Dorset produce and always strives to put Bournemouth on the food and drink map.

For Matt is not only passionate about fresh ingredients but also how and where they are sourced.

The Schpoons & Forx restaurant, situated within the Hilton Bournemouth hotel, specialises in serving modern British cuisine with an emphasis on local seafood, serving the finest British produce sourced from Dorset and Hampshire suppliers.

Rope Grown Mussels ‘Normandy’ style

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins

Serves 4


1 tbsp rapeseed oil

4 large banana shallots, finely chopped

3 thyme sprigs

200 ml dry apple cider

75g smoked back bacon

1 kg rope grown Dorset mussels, scrubbed, beards removed

200 ml double cream

Heat rapeseed oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add bacon, shallot, thyme and cook until tender (5 to 6 minutes).

Add cider, bring to the simmer, add mussels, increase heat to high, cover and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until mussels open (2 to 3 minutes).

Season to taste, add cream, stir until mussels are well coated, and serve hot with crusty sourdough bread.

* Mussels are one of the most well-rounded foods to include in your diet, high in zinc, iron and other minerals, vitamins A and B12. A fantastic source of protein, low in calories and low in fat.

Rope grown mussels are harvested on suspended ropes which ensures that the mussels do not touch the bottom of the seabed and pick up grit and barnacles.