A restaurant in Longridge has appointed a former MasterChef contestant as its new head chef.

Matt Willdigg, who made it to the finals of Masterchef: The Professionals in 2021, will head the kitchen at Fell Bistro, on Berry Lane.

Fell Bistro opened in September 2022 as a joint venture between Matt, Oli Martin and Alex Blamire.

Matt, who was previously involved in the business and menu development, will be assuming full-time residency at Fell Bistro in Longridge, where he will oversee the kitchen's operations daily.

Lancashire Telegraph: Matt Willdigg at Fell Bistro in Longridge Matt Willdigg at Fell Bistro in Longridge (Image: Fell Bistro in Longridge)

Dormer head chef Brett Thornton, who is moving to Fell's sister restaurant, Aven, to work under head chef Sean Wrest. Matts arrival marks a significant milestone for Fell Bistro as it aims to further elevate its culinary experience and reputation as one of Lancashire’s “go to” casual restaurants.

Matt said: "I'm really excited to get stuck back in at Fell on a more operational level. Although I've been largely involved in the business and menu development over the past 18 months, I just want to get back in that kitchen with the team, on the front line so to speak."

Lancashire Telegraph: Matt Willdigg on MasterChef: The Professionals, in 2021Matt Willdigg on MasterChef: The Professionals, in 2021 (Image: BBC)

A spokesperson for Fell Bistro said: “We look forward to Matt's leadership and culinary vision as it continues to delight guests with exceptional dining experiences.

“His passion for excellence and commitment to innovation are poised to propel Fell Bistro to new heights of culinary distinction.”

Hailing from the West Midlands Matt has been cooking professionally since the age of 16.

Having spent time working in London under Angela Hartnett at the one Michelin-starred Murano, then at the two Michelin-starred Hibiscus under Claude Bosi.