Matthew Tomkinson was always destined for great things. Starting his career in 1998 at a vegetarian restaurant in Cheshire, Tomkinson went on to win the prestigious Roux Scholarship in 2005 (at 29) during his four-year stint at Michelin-starred Ockenden Manor.
In 2009, Tomkinson won a Michelin star for the Terrace Restaurant at The Montagu Arms on the Beaulieu Estate in the New Forest - just six months after taking over the kitchen.
That would be impressive enough, were it not for the fact that it's the second time in a row he's accomplished the feat: he won his first star for The Goose in Britwell Salome in 2008.
Tomkinson has forged a highly identifiable style that mixes classic French technique with his love of home-cooked food. You won’t find jellies, mousses and foams (which he says ‘taste like bubble bath’) on his menus. Instead expect richly comforting dishes, like a starter of slow-cooked oxtail, layered with a purée and slices of celeriac lasagne-style.
Tomkinson has built a network of local suppliers for most of his ingredients, including lamb (from nearby Pennington) that he buys whole and butchers himself. 'I’d love people to eat at The Terrace and know they’re in Hampshire, know who’s cooking the food and that it’s respectful to the place, the environment and the suppliers' says Tomkinson.
When The Staff Canteen asked Tomkinson what motivates him, he answered, ‘I love cooking for people and when they enjoy it … that’s what it’s all about.’
Tomkinson has contributed a number of fabulous recipes towards our summer recipes collection - these include a homemade beef burger recipe, a tart lemon posset recipe and a poached duck egg recipe that is served with asparagus and a grainy mustard dressing. There is also a cherries jubilee recipe, sure to be a big hit during Britain's summer of celebrations.