Coastal business expands, campaigns and recruits

The family behind a string of successful and popular coastal restaurants has made a series of exciting announcements ahead of the 2019 summer season.

The Wilsons – owners of the iconic Crusoe’s and The View on Tynemouth’s Longsands and The Lock at the Royal Quays Marina in North Shields – are building an extension to one of their restaurants and pioneering a major step-forward in environmental protection.

They have also recruited as a consultant one of the area’s highest profile chefs, TV Master Chef quarter-finalist Matei Baran.Chef Matei Baran (centre) with Crusoe's staff

The extension is to Crusoe’s which, since opening in 2003, has built a reputation for fine food and excellent customer service, and become a beachside landmark on the North East coast.

The Wilsons are confident that the extra space, where high quality street food – including chicken skewers, fish tacos, flat breads and salads – will be prepared, will also prove popular.

Last year the family’s business played a key role in helping Tynemouth become the first place in the North East to be awarded plastic-free status.  So, as part of its continuing commitment to protect the local environment, it has decided that all takeaway items served from the new kitchen will come on biodegradable plates or in biodegradable packaging.

“You now see so much on the television about the damage plastic is doing to our oceans,” said Howard Wilson.  “It would be a crime if we did not do all we can to ensure Longsands remains the beautiful place we all love so much.”

Chef Matei Baran has joined the team to help develop new menus.  As well as his appearance on MasterChef: The Professionals in 2016, Matei oversaw the successful launch of The Salt Cove restaurant in Tynemouth.  He also hit the headlines earlier this year when preparing a recipe book to raise money and awareness of the life-limiting illness Cystic Fibrosis which affects his six-year-old son.

Despite a public outcry, Matei had to change the name of the book to Big Chef Mini Chef – rather than Big Chef Little Chef – after the owner of the brand of the defunct roadside restaurants threatened legal action.

“I’m so glad to be back in a kitchen rather than having a fight with Little Chef,” said the Romania-born chef, “and it’s fantastic to work with a great people in such a stunning location.”

Everybody involved in the food industry needs to do all they can to work sustainably, said Matei, and he was proud to join a team which was so determined to make a difference.

Coastal business expands, campaigns and recruits