The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on 26 February at the House of Commons. Matthew, from Finham, Coventry, was shortlisted because of his outstanding work in mentoring and developing young people at EEF Venues’ Woodland Grange conference centre in Leamington Spa.
He has mentored six apprentices to date at Woodland Grange, two of whom are now full-time staff members at the award winning Warwickshire venue.
His nominator, David Vaughton, director of venues for EEF Venues, said: "For Matthew, there are no short-cuts as consistent quality is everything. ‘Do it well, do it right’ is his mantra so he instils high standards in his apprentices from the outset.
“95% of our food served at Woodland Grange is made from scratch by our brigade – a tangible indication of the training apprentices receive in classical culinary skills and methods such as how to make a classic roux, how to skin and bone a fish and make a consommé - many of which have disappeared in kitchens due to convenience foods." Bryan Anderson, Team Leader for Work-based Learning at Stratford upon Avon College, said: ‘We have worked with Matthew Parsons for many years delivering successful hospitality apprenticeships at Woodland Grange. His passion for the industry and desire to develop the next generation of chefs is clearly demonstrated by the time and commitment he commits to the candidates."
Commenting on his shortlisting, Matthew said: ”It is great to get industry recognition at this level; just to be shortlisted is an honour in itself. I am passionate about skills development as our fresh food ethos is an important part of our business success at Woodland Grange.”