Mat Follas has been crowned winner of MasterChef 2009, after impressing the judges with an elegant three-course meal.

The 42-year-old IT engineer from Beaminster, Dorset took the trophy in an all-male final after six weeks of heats, a week of gruelling semi-finals and a week of finals.

New Zealand-born Mat, who is married with three children, beat fellow finalists Andy Oliver and Christopher Gates to the title on the BBC2 show.

Famous for producing big flavours and big portions throughout the contest, Mat wowed judges John Torode and Gregg Wallace with a starter of trio of wild rabbit, followed by a main course of spider crab with hand-cut chips and sea vegetables.

He topped this off with a dessert of lavender mousse with hokey pokey and a blackberry sauce.

Mat declared he was ‘delighted’ with his win and hailed his MasterChef experience as ‘fantastic’.

“It’s been a fantastic experience and I’ve learnt an enormous amount,” he said. “Although, at times, I have never worked so hard in all my life, it’s been great fun.”

Mat, who is now seeking to open his own restaurant, told that he hopes to balance the fine dining techniques he has learned with his distinctive rustic style.

He said: “When I do have my own kitchen, when I’m doing my own food, it’s about finding the balance. So maybe some fine dining dishes mixed with a really good, big plate of seafood that’s not so elegant.”

CLICK below to watch an interview with MasterChef winner Mat

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