Matfen Hall Welcomes Award-Winning Head Chef Ernst Van Zyl

Matfen Hall, a luxury hotel and country estate nestled in picturesque Northumberland, is thrilled to announce the appointment of Ernst Van Zyl as its new Head Chef.

Prior to joining Matfen Hall, Van Zyl held the position of Head Chef at The Isle of Eriska Hotel in Benderloch, Oban, a 5-star establishment where he held 3 AA Rosettes.

This prestigious addition to the culinary team is set to elevate the dining experience at Matfen Hall to even greater heights, with Van Zyl’s exceptional expertise and extensive international culinary background.

The new head chef brings to Matfen Hall an impressive 25 years of culinary experience gained from a diverse range of hospitality establishments.

His modern and innovative approach to cooking, combined with a relentless pursuit of excellence, has made him a standout figure in the food and beverage industry.

He will start his position at Matfen Hall on 25 October.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Matfen Hall family and taking on the role of Head Chef,” he said. 

“I have always been passionate about pushing culinary boundaries and delivering the best dining experiences possible. Matfen Hall provides the perfect platform for me to showcase my skills and creativity.”

Van Zyl was a semi-finalist in the National Chef of the Year competition in both 2011 and 2012 and has received multiple accolades for his culinary achievements.

His commitment to excellence has earned him a reputation as a hardworking perfectionist, where only the best is acceptable.

What truly sets this talented chef apart is his international experience, having completed stages at some of the world’s most renowned restaurants, including Maaemo in Oslo, Norway; Restaurant Frantzen/Lindeberg in Stockholm, Sweden; Le Manoir Au Quat Saisons in Oxford; and Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, which was named the Best Restaurant in the World in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

He has also worked at the iconic Heston Blumenthal Fat Duck restaurant.

Ernst Van Zyl’s career has taken him around the globe, from South Africa to the United States and various locations across Europe.

He has consistently demonstrated his culinary prowess in each of these destinations, making him a truly multicultural and diverse chef.

“We are delighted to welcome Ernst Van Zyl to the Matfen Hall family,” said Nathan White, General Manager of Matfen Hall.

“His international experience, dedication to creating great culinary experiences, align perfectly with our commitment to providing our guests with a world-class luxury experience here at Matfen Hall.”