A popular beachside cafe is undergoing a major change.
The owners behind Crusoe’s, on Tynemouth Longsands, are building an extension to the restaurant for a new kitchen, while also taking a major step forward in environmental protection.
The Wilson family, who also own The View on Tynemouth Longsands and The Lock at the Royal Quays Marina, have also recruited TV Master Chef quarter-finalist Matei Baran as a consultant.
As part of the extension they will serve high quality street food, including chicken skewers, fish tacos, flat breads and salads.
And all takeaway items served from the new kitchen will be on biodegradable plates or in biodegradable packaging following Tynemouth becoming the first place in the north east to be awarded plastic-free status.
Howard Wilson said: “You now see so much on the television about the damage plastic is doing to our oceans.
“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.”