Matt Wilkinson hails from the rolling pastures and industrial jungle of Barnsley, South Yorkshire in the North of England – a stealthily disguised ‘centre gastronomique.’

Charming and ever-so-modest, Matt’s foodie muscles were carved under Michelin-starred chef Martin Wishart before arriving in Australia where he worked at Vue de monde and Circa.

In 2010, he and business soulmate Ben Foster opened Pope Joan in East Brunswick, Melbourne: a neighbourhood café by day and casually distinctive eatery by night, replete with wine bar and kitchen garden. Pope Joan now has a produce store and takeaway hub, Hams and Bacon, nestled alongside – offering every cut and cure of meaty goodness imaginable, fresh and dry goods, and Mr Wilkinson’s own range of comestibles to slather on top.

In 2012 Matt published his first book, Mr. Wilkinson’s Favourite Vegetables, which has been translated into nine languages and sold over 100, 000 copies worldwide. Never one to rest in his vegie patch for too long; he is currently working on his second cookbook, due for release in March 2015.

Matt’s very poorly-concealed obsession is with growing, sourcing and presenting the best tasting produce he can – he’s kinda coocoo about it actually. Matt appreciates the importance of farmers and food producers to making his gastronomic plans a reality. He is a very proud ambassador of the Victorian Farmers’ Markets Association and a partner of boutique casual food eatery Spudbar – serving ‘slow food – fast.’

Matt lives in Melbourne with his partner, Sharlee, their pooch, Quincy, and two adorable pint-sized delinquents, Finn and Jay.