The people who make and produce the food we enjoy so much in the New Forest are one of the reasons we are such a top foodie destination.

So we’d like to introduce you to some of them.

Matthew Tomkinson runs The Terrace, a 3 AA Rosette restaurant at The Montagu Arms in Beaulieu.

He fell into cheffing after joining his friend on fishing trips and becoming captivated by his tales from the kitchen where he worked at a small restaurant in France.

Matthew attended university, opting for Hospitality Management and worked at The Greenhouse vegetarian restaurant in Cheshire which fired his interest in the use of vegetables as an ingredient.

His work then took him to Simply Nico at the Crowne Plaza Hotel near London and the Michelin-starred Ockenden Manor in West Sussex.

During his four years there he won the Roux Scholarship for chefs under the age of 30 and claims that taking part was: “My biggest challenge. It made me learn, read, discover and realise the importance of hospitality.”

Following further stints in the south of France and Oxfordshire, where he won his first Michelin star at The Goose in Britwell Salome, he moved to the Montagu Arms in 2009. And it’s there he’ll be preparing the headline event for our Very English Afternoon Tea theme, giving a talk about this venerable institution and ensuring that guests tuck into what he hopes will be the very best tea they have ever experienced!

Matthew and The Montagu Arms will also be hosting a Sip and Savour headline event – mouth-watering signature dishes across 6 courses combined with Sommelier selected wines, local gin and craft beer.

Take a look at what else is on the New Forest Food & Drink Festival menu.

matthew tomkinson