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Quick Bite with Matt Lloyd, Director and Chef of The Pear Tree Kitchen

The Woods Foodservice Quick Bite series is a 10-second download from a top UK chef sharing what’s on their plate.

We spoke to Matt Lloyd, Director and Chef of The Pear Tree Kitchen, on his career so far and what inspired him to become a chef.

What would you say is the most defining moment in your career?

Working with Michael Wignall when he was at The Latymer in Pennyhill Park. Michael is such an amazing chef and person to work with. His passion for using seasonal and top quality produce has definitely played a big part in my approach to cooking. He constantly pushed his chefs to try new ingredients, cooking methods, flavour combinations, and tirelessly hones his chefs cooking, knife, plating, organisational and managerial skills – all in a calm environment!

What inspired you to become a chef?

I wasn’t cut out for school and landed my first job in the kitchen at the age of 14 in Australia. I was very fortunate to be taken under the wings of Peter, an owner/chef in a local neighbourhood restaurant. Peter has travelled the world extensively and worked as a chef for a long time. As it was just the two of us in the kitchen, he taught me all he knew and ultimately inspired me to become a chef. 

What piece of golden advice would you give to anyone in the industry who wants to be successful?

Listen, read, keep an open mind and put your ego aside. 

Any favourite ingredients at the moment or menu trends you are really enjoying?

I don’t follow food trends too closely, though they do sometimes provide inspirations when we make changes to our menus. I don’t have a single favourite ingredient. I love to work with local suppliers and small producers as you can really taste their passion in their products , i.e. eggs from St Ewes, traditional cured meats from Crown & Queue, craft beer for Anspach & Hobday, Gin from Isle of Harris, ferment from Bottle Brush Ferments.

Favourite dish on the menu that uses an ingredient / ingredients from Woods?

Kale, wild mushrooms, fresh Pappardelle, in creamy truffle sauce. The truffle paste that we get from Woods works really well for this dish.