Chef/Proprietor Cheals of Henley

Twitter: @mattcheal07 Website:

Like many of the best chefs his career started early. By fourteen he was working as a pot-washer at an Italian restaurant in Hampton-in-Arden, as well as helping out in the kitchen of The Arden Hotel encouraged by the manager of the hotel; his father.

After leaving school aged sixteen, Matt decided to build on his already impressive set of skills by enrolling at Birmingham College of Food. It was here that he was spotted by Andreas Antona – the legendary Midlands chef/restaurateur with a keen eye for talent.

Antona, recognising Matt’s budding talent, quickly offered the young chef a placement at his restaurant, Simpsons, in 2000, which is where he has worked ever since; rising to the position of Head Chef after thirteen years and winning the accolades of Junior Sous Chef of the Year (2004) and Chef of the Year (2010) in the process.

With Luke Tipping’s guiding hand (Tipping remained Executive Chef), Matt has kept up the great standards set by the kitchen at Simpsons. He oversaw a period in which Simpsons consolidated its Michelin star and was named in the Sunday Times list of Top 30 Restaurants (placed 28th). Aside from running a brigade of fourteen, Matt also took responsibility for running the cookery school at Simpsons.

After sixteen years at Simpsons, Matt has decided to embark on a new challenge, opening a restaurant of his own with his father. Based in Henley-in-Arden,  Cheal’s of Henley offers fine dining in a relaxed and informal setting.

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