Matthew Whitfield is set to move to the Montagu Arms hotel, taking over the head chef position from friend and former-colleague Matthew Tomkinson.
Whitfield, a 2017 Roux Scholarship finalist who recently wrapped up a stint at Eleven Madison Park in New York, will return to take control of the kitchen of the New Forest hotel's restaurant in the coming week. Originally from the area, he also has experience from The Yewtree under Marco Pierre-White and as head chef at Chris Eaden's Driftwood restaurant in Portscatho, Cornwall.
He takes over the reigns from Tomkinson, winner of the 2005 Roux Scholarship, who has served at the Montagu's pass for a decade. He gained a Michelin star for the restaurant in 2009, which he held to 2017 when the site was refurbished
Tomkinson told The Caterer: "I've had a great ten years at the Montagu. I've absolutely loved it - and Matt Whitfield is a friend of mine, it's a brilliant way to go and to hand over to somebody else.
"I'm over the moon for what I've had there and I'm over the moon for what Matt's gonna have - and Matt's gonna be absolutely brilliant in that job."
Asked if he wanted to regain the site's Michelin star, Whitfield added: "That would be an amazing thing. The main thing is to make it a working business. Matt's done an amazing job so I hope to maintain his standard and then bring my own thing into it as well".