Hailing from a small town in Hampshire, Matt Gillan's route to becoming a Michelin starred chef began in a somewhat serendipitous fashion after a school friend got a job washing pots in a local restaurant. Irked by the difference in pay between this and his own job, manning a paper round, Gillan set about procuring his own role in the brigade and after dutifully prepping vegetables – he’s never looked back.
After leaving school, Matt followed his talent to Michelin star eateries including Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Midsummer House and The Vineyard at Stockcross. Often stating he would have been a graphic designer had he not become a chef, Matt displays a graphic designer's eye when it comes to the presentation of his dishes; plates arrive from beyond the pass looking immaculate; pretty but not overly fussy.
Matt has a genuine affection for produce piqued during a spell travelling in Australia which saw him picking fruit and vegetables on the east coast. A dish of saddle of lamb with slow-cooked belly and lamb fat gnocchi is symptomatic of an approach which combines a nose to tail efficiency with a strict emphasis on taste.
Describe your culinary philosophy in four words...
Progressive, Seasonal, Intuitive, Fun
What is your greatest inspiration?
The desire to learn.
If you could take a plane to anyrestaurant in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?
What four things would you take to a desert island?
A body board, iPod (with a sound dock and an infinite amount of power), a pillow and nail clippers.
- 1 Michelin star
- 4 AA rosettes
South Lodge, an Exclusive Hotel