Matthew won the Roux Scholarship in 2005 at the age of 29. He staged at Les Pres d’Eugenie in France. He is now Chef-Patron of Betony by Matt Tomkinson at The Kings Head in Whiteparish.

Rather than undertaking conventional chef training, Matthew started his culinary career with a holiday job in a supermarket canteen while completing a degree in hospitality management. A stint in a vegetarian restaurant in his native northern England followed, cementing his desire to convert what had previously been a hobby into a vocation. After graduation, and working at various pubs and restaurants, he set himself the ambition to work at some of the country’s best restaurants.

Fast forward to 2005 and, while working as junior sous at the Michelin-starred Ockenden Manor in rural West Sussex, Matthew won the coveted Roux Scholarship. For his stage, he followed in the very first scholar Andrew Fairlie’s footsteps to work at Michel Guérard’s three-star Les Prés d’Eugénie in the south-west of France. He was the first scholar to return to a restaurant that another scholar had already staged in and it was an opportunity that gave him the experience he needed to move to a head chef’s position at The Goose in Britwell Salome, near Oxford. It was here that he won his first Michelin star in 2008.

Prior to opening his restaurant Betony’s at The King’s Head in 2019, Matthew oversaw two restaurants at The Montagu Arms country house hotel in the heart of England’s New Forest national park. He held a Michelin star at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant for seven consecutive years and was named Hampshire Chef of the Year in recognition of this achievement in 2014.