A former Masterchef: The Professionals contestant is setting up a new continental-style deli in Darlington Market.

The eatery will take up a large central unit at the market and there will be seating for customers at the counter.

The food available will include: include continental cheeses, meats, olives, hummus and other types of meze.

There will also be a wide selection of prepared foods, such as charcuterie boards, handcrafted 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.

Pictures of what the new space should look like:

The Northern Echo: The new deli

Chef Matei 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."

The Northern Echo: Chef Matei Baran

Mr Baran has also recently launched restaurant Posh Street Food on Skinnergate in Darlington.

Cllr Chris McEwan, cabinet member for economy at 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.

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"The 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 Matei, 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."