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Meet the chef: Luke Matthews at Chewton Glen

PUBLISHED: 14:27 07 September 2016 | UPDATED: 14:27 07 September 2016

Executive Head Chef at Chewton Glen, Luke Matthews

Executive Head Chef at Chewton Glen, Luke Matthews

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Creating inventive, cosmopolitan food using locally sourced ingredients, Executive Head Chef at Chewton Glen, Luke Matthews, talks serving up fine dining at one of the county’s most prestigious hotels

The dining room at Chewton GlenThe dining room at Chewton Glen

Tell us a bit about the history of the hotel

Chewton Glen is a five-star privately-owned luxury hotel and spa situated on the edge of the ancient New Forest and a short walk from the sea in Hampshire. Featuring an award-winning restaurant, world-class leisure activities, luxurious accommodation and modern conference facilities Chewton Glen is the perfect destination for romantic escapes, relaxing getaways or corporate events. The hotel was established in 1966 and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Talk about the wider setting, what’s on your doorstep and what will visitors enjoy doing?

Our location on the edge of the New Forest and with walking distance from the coast provides a fabulous natural environment for enjoying walking, cycling, horse riding and a wide variety of water based sports, in addition to the ability to visit a number of private gardens, attractions and towns, cities and villages within the area.

What influenced your dining style decisions? Who chooses the dishes on the menu and what was the idea behind those choices?

Although the menu is English at its core, our chefs combine carefully sourced ingredients with cosmopolitan flair, to create seasonal menus to tempt and delight. Fuelled by our guests’ requests, you can enjoy one-course and a glass of wine, or make an evening of it.

Tell us about the interior design, do you follow a theme? What is the general ambience that you wanted to create?

The Dining Room’ at Chewton Glen is spread across five rooms, including a wonderful Wine Room and the newly constructed Summer House. Interior designer Anita Rosato worked her magic and created a stunning restaurant with a fabulous collection of modern paintings and finishing touches.

What upcoming events should we look out for?

We have a regular programme of wine tasting and food focused events and details can be found at chewtonglen.com.

What sets you apart from other restaurants?

Chewton Glen has been described as ‘An English Original’ it is a very special place and has been for the past 50 years. At the heart of the hotel is the restaurant and kitchen and as we continue to develop and innovate, especially with the addition of the Treehouse Suites, kitchen garden, heritage orchard and nursery garden, together with plans for our new cookery school we are confident that our restaurant will continue to offer excellent cuisine and a warm welcome.

What is your signature dish and why?

Our signature dish is surprisingly a ‘Thai Lobster Curry’ which is inspired by my travels in Thailand.

Talk us through your wine list

Chef Sommelier Francesco Gabriele has worked hard to put together ideas and to forge something able to communicate his style and personality. We don’t have a ‘House Wine’ but a Sommelier Selection of wines that Francesco’s team try every week in a blind tasting, looking for the best quality\money balance.

Where do you source your ingredients? Is local produce important to you?

Local produce is immensely important to us and we source as much as we can. We have always worked with local suppliers such as Flambard Eggs; Naked Jams, Laverstoke Park and Chalk Stream Foods as well as Jurassic Coast Meats and S.J. Frederick & Sons.

The lowdown

• Name of establishment: The Dining Room at Chewton Glen

• Address: Chewton Glen, New Milton, New Forest, Hampshire, BH25 6QS

• Tel no: 01425 282212

• E-mail: reservations@chewtonglen.com
• Website: chewtonglen.com
• What’s on the menu? From the typically English to the totally cosmopolitan, Executive Head Chef, Luke Matthews and his talented brigade create fine dining at its finest.

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