Michelin chef has recipe for success as he launches training academy

A Michelin-trained chef from Yorkshire has launched a new Hospitality and Catering Apprentice Academy at the Dean Clough Mill complex, in Halifax.

Matthew Benson-Smith is dedicating his time to training the next generation of aspiring chefs, future managers and craft bakers.

Chef Benson-Smith Academy is designed to educate and mentor apprentices working for establishments across the UK.

The Government registered and approved independent training academy is now operating level 2 -5 training programmes tailored to the requirements of a broad range of workplace clients.

Matthew Benson-Smith forged his culinary skills during his Michelin training at Ecole Lenotre Paris. He made his mark in Yorkshire through helping convert Hazelwood Castle with his brother John Benson-Smith – an ex-BBC MasterChef judge – before becoming head chef at Rudding Park Hotel.

His career highlights include senior chef positions at the 5-star Landmark and Browns Hotels in London, World Curry Festival Host & Demonstrator UK & Malaysia and chef to the UK Prime Minister. He also worked in new product development for M&S products.

He was also a principal tutor and director at the former cooking school at Dean Clough.

He said: “My father was a steel business entrepreneur in Sheffield and often hosted dinner parties from which I was raised to appreciate good food.

“Both my brother John and I have forged great careers in the industry, and I want to inspire young people to do the same.

“Certainly, the industry needs some positive injection after a turbulent few years throughout the pandemic and other economic events, and putting skilled and motivated individuals directly into the business is our objective.

“Dean Clough provides the prefect environment to help inspire our apprentices to be the best that they can.  There is a special quality about the place with an ownership team that engenders strong family values and community spirit.”

Jeremy Hall, chairman and managing director at Dean Clough Ltd, said: “We are so pleased to welcome Matthew and his team to Dean Clough.

“To be a host to such an accomplished operator working for the greater good of an ailing industry whilst supporting fledgling careers is reward indeed and we look forward to seeing some great achievements.

“Chef Benson-Smith is another fine example of our capacity to provide suitable space for a diverse range of occupiers.”