Matthew Benson-Smith has won the much-coveted Education Award at the Yorkshire Life Food & Drink Awards 2013.
Matthew has been recognised for his outstanding talent in teaching the world to cook! Not only has he been a fantastic course leader for our leisure courses over the years, he has now set up our innovative apprenticeship programme to help young people in Yorkshire start out on a career as a chef and is involved in many initiatives with local schools.
Annie Stirk, the chair of judges, said, "His passion for back-to-basics skills and local seasonal produce knows no bounds. As well as being committed to promoting and facilitating healthy eating in schools, he has set up and run a ground-breaking apprenticeship scheme for 16-24 year olds. His tireless work has enabled hundreds to forge a bright future in the restaurant industry."
Matthew had no idea he had been nominated for this award, so was blown away when it was announced amid a glittering ceremony that celebrated the creme de la creme of Yorkshire's food, drink and hospitality industry. He says, "I am so honoured to receive this award and it just makes me even more thankful that I have the opportunity to give young chefs a chance on our apprenticeship programme. It's an exciting time here at The Cooking School with lots going on to support young people in Calderdale, so watch this space!"