'Chef of the Year' Award Goes to Luke Matthews

Chewton Glen's Executive Head Chef, Luke Matthews scooped the top prize of 'Chef of the Year' at last night's 'Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards 2015', which was held at The Elvetham Hotel in Hartley Wintney. Now in their tenth year, these prestigious awards recognise the importance of the Hampshire food and drink industry.

Commenting on the awards, Editor of Hampshire Life, Elizabeth Kirby said: “Our judging panel deliberated hard over the entries, all of which were worthy nominees. Those nominated were all voted for by our readers and the recognition from these awards makes a fantastic and positive impact to local businesses. From the farmers and growers to the eateries that see the benefit of promoting locally produced food and drink the Hampshire Life Food & Drink Awards are a chance to reward all those who make an outstanding contribution to our wonderful county.”

Luke Matthews joined Chewton Glen in 1993 and was appointed Executive Head Chef in 2003. Luke has honed his skills and developed a well-recognised style of cuisine, whose secret lies in the quality of the ingredients selected and a deceptively simple approach to their preparation.

Regional ingredients, inspiring new flavours, and a focus on sublime, contemporary cuisine is the order of the day at Chewton Glen and under his expert direction,  Chewton Glen's 30-strong kitchen brigade has the responsibility for producing innovative new dishes and truly experimenting with flavour and ingredients.

Game from the New Forest, and local fruit, vegetables and seafood are key features on the menu together with a wonderful array of outstanding award winning local cheeses, poultry, eggs and pork and beef. Chewton Glen is also fortunate to have an amazing Walled Kitchen Garden, nursery and orchard which keeps the kitchen supplied with a bountiful selection of fruit, vegetables, herbs, flowers and honey produced from the hotels own bees.

Following last night's awards ceremony Luke Matthews commented: “I am delighted to have received this fabulous accolade, it is particularly significant for me because of my passion for using local ingredients and working with suppliers who are based so close to the hotel that they can come into my kitchen in the morning and deliver fresh high quality ingredients in person. It is a real joy to discover what is out there."

Luke's achievements at Chewton Glen have won him small-screen fame with appearances on BBC flagship programme  'Saturday Kitchen' and numerous cookery demonstrations and masterclasses. Luke is also passionate about training and he is a member of the Academy of Culinary Arts with three of its apprentices based in the kitchens at Chewton Glen.

Luke Matthews has been instrumental in creating a fabulous new recipe book 'Chewton Glen – An English Original', which is being launched in December 2015. As well as celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Chewton Glen with a series of interviews with celebrity chefs and hoteliers including Raymond Blanc and James Martin, the book also showcases the outstanding local ingredients and suppliers that have worked with the hotel over the past five decades and includes over 50 recipes from the award-winning kitchen of Luke Matthews at Chewton Glen. 

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