Chef Matei Michael Harvey Darlington Markets

Celebrated chef cooking up a storm at Darlington Market

Further details have been released ahead of the opening of an exciting new outlet at Darlington Market. Critically acclaimed Chef Matei Baran is set to open an artisanal continental style deli at the venue, the latest in a series of announcements which will complete phase three of the site’s redevelopment in the coming months.

The deli will take up a large central unit at the market and feature seating for customers at the counter. Produce will include continental cheeses, meats, olives, humus and other types of meze, which can be served on site or packed to take away and eat at home. The opening adds to the already exciting food offer, with Urban Deli opening at Darlington Market late in 2023, focussing on British produce, mainly from the local area. 

In addition to Chef Matei’s deli produce, there will be a wide selection of prepared foods, such as charcuterie boards, hand crafted sandwiches and ‘posh’ toasties, as well as a selection of healthier options, such as smoothies and salads. A range of specially selected wines will also be available by the glass, or by the bottle. The new space has been collaboratively designed between the expert team at Darlington Market and Chef Matei, tailoring the unit to his specific style and requirements. The new food outlet represents the latest success story in the revival of the venue, which is set to complete phase three of its redevelopment this coming Spring.

Chef Matie Baran said: “Being a chef isn’t just a job for me; it’s a lifelong love affair with food. I have the privilege of transforming raw ingredients into edible art, creating experiences that touch people’s lives. From intimate gatherings to grand celebrations, I take pride in crafting menus that reflect the unique personalities and tastes of my clients, delivering an experience that goes beyond expectations.”

“I can see the vision for what Darlington Market is becoming and it's very exciting to be a part of that. After discussing it in depth with the Market Asset Management team, I know that they share the same passion as I do for good food and its ability to bring communities together.”

Michael Harvey, Markets Manager for Market Asset Management, which manages Darlington Market on behalf of the Town Council said: “It's always exciting to meet people with such enthusiasm for what they do, and Chef Matei Baran will bring an incredible amount of energy and passion to Darlington Market. He is the latest in a series of exciting new tenants to announce their plans and this new unit will add another dimension to the market, providing an incredible continental style deli within the venue, selling some of the finest ingredients, providing another great place to eat, meet and buy exceptional produce.” 

“This will continue to broaden our customer base – ensuring we’re attracting visitors to the town centre from all walks of life and every demographic. The market acts as a place everyone can come and enjoy finding something that suits them, whether that’s a place to eat or somewhere to shop. Our vision is becoming a reality, that you will be able grab your groceries in a unique setting, enjoy a glass of wine if time allows, browse independent crafts, and stick around for the night’s entertainment.”

Cllr Chris McEwan, cabinet member for economy, Darlington Borough Council said: “Darlington is a thriving, vibrant and successful town. We are working hard to encourage new independent businesses to join our growing local economy and phase three of the market redevelopment opens-up an exciting range of opportunities for people looking to launch or relocate their business in the town. T

"he indoor market brings retail, hospitality and leisure together under one roof, and is much used and enjoyed by local residents and visitors. Over recent months there’s been a number of traders showing interest in the market and we are delighted that Mattei, who already owns a street food restaurant in the town, has decided to continue expanding his business here. We’re looking forward to welcoming more traders to this first-class facility between now and Spring, when works are set to be completed.”

Chef Matei Baran has more than 25 years’ experience in the kitchen and is no stranger to Darlington, having already opened an eatery on Skinnergate. He has previously found fame on Masterchef: The Professionals and has worked alongside some of the best chefs in the UK. The opening complements the recent opening of Urban Deli, which focusses on produce sourced from the local area, further broadening the choice on offer to shoppers and visitors.

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