CHEAL'S OF HENLEY
As Chef Director and restaurant co-owner of Cheal’s of Henley Matt Cheal, is quick to recognise and acknowledge that every member of his team plays a huge part in the restaurant’s reputation and success, both in the food they produce and the service they deliver.
When Matt talks about his restaurant you quickly hear his passion for the team’s food, he is very proud of what they all achieve and explains that this can only be continued by each individual playing their part working together as a single team. The hard work and dedication of his team together with support from his family speaks volumes in the many positive reviews received by satisfied diners.
With 40 covers in the restaurant, the team is small and close knit, and this shows in the relaxed camaraderie between the Kitchen Staff and Front of House team.
Cheal’s food is seasonally sourced from local Warwickshire suppliers who specialise in rare breeds of meats and game. The team also enjoy using local ingredients some of which are grown on the nearby Cheal’s allotment, tended by Caroline who supplies the kitchen with fresh seasonal ingredients daily.
Matt Cheal ~ Chef Director
Matt has his own style of food which he describes as "Modern British". He and his team work with seasonal produce and fine quality ingredients to develop and serve interesting, inspiring menus which change frequently, both with the seasons and to continually interest diners, many being regulars.
Matt loves developing new dishes with inspiration coming from many sources, including visits by Matt and key team members to other restaurants and also from his collection of hundreds of new and old recipe books written by chefs from around the World. He then experiments and adapts recipes using different techniques and elements to create the delicate and unique flavours for which Cheal’s cooking is known.
Matt has always been interested in food having grown up in his family’s hotel, where he started work at the tender age of 13. As he grew up Matt's passion and talent for cooking became apparent and he continued to develop, even though his parents Tony and Julie tried to dissuade him against a career which is renowned for long antisocial hours! After College Matt trained and worked in Michelin starred Simpsons restaurant in Birmingham, starting as a Commis Chef and working his way up to become Head Chef. Matt was also responsible for the restaurant’s Cookery School.
In 2002 Matt won the British Culinary Federation Junior Chef of the Year and he followed that up in 2010 by winning the British Culinary Federation Senior Chef of the Year. To date Matt is the only chef to have won both accolades.
During 2015, with his parent’s support, Matt realised a long-held dream to open his own restaurant when Cheal’s of Henley first opened its doors.
Matt Nicholls - Sous Chef
Matt has been with Cheal’s since day one.
At a very early age Matt remembers cooking with his Grandmother, as Matt says: “Grandma taught me to bake and cook homely meals”. Since those early days Matt has developed into a very talented, award winning chef.
Before joining Cheal’s Matt was Commis Chef at a Michelin starred Warwickshire restaurant. At just 15 he was awarded Young Chef of the Year at University College Birmingham, and in October 2018 won the British Culinary Federation Young Chef of The Year 2018.
No greater compliment to Matt's skills and contribution is to quote mentor Matt Cheal: “Cheal’s wouldn’t be what it is today without Matt Nichols who has been with our team since day one”.
Brad French - Chef de Partie
Brad’s cooking was inspired by his Mother and Grandmother and he has been cooking since he was just 8 years old. Whilst at College he accepted a placement as Commis Chef at a hotel in Warwickshire before going to work in London as Chef de Partie working for a Michelin starred gastro pub, the only gastro pub in London to hold a Michelin star at that time.
He then moved back to the Warwickshire area and has been with Cheal’s since 2017. Brad says: "The team at Cheal's are great. I am given freedom to come up regularly with new dishes, Matt is fantastic and helps with our development, training and encouragement, he brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to his team".
Anoop Babu - Restaurant Manager and Sommelier
As Restaurant Manager Anoop enures all runs smoothly between the kitchen and front of house team offering our guests the perfect dining experience. Anoop has gained a wealth of experience working in hotels and fine dining restaurants in Warwickshire and also enjoyed a memorable season working at a French ski resort hotel. Anoop joined Cheal's as Assistant Restaurant Manager in January 2017, and was promoted to Restaurant Manager and Sommelier in January 2018
Liam Roe - Assistant Restaurant Manager
Liam joined Cheal’s during early 2018, having spent over 14 years in the hospitality sector working in various roles in hotels and restaurants in Warwickshire. Always passionate about delivering great customer service with a genuine interest in our guests, Liam is the perfect host for your visit to Cheal’s of Henley.