Matt makes mark in Melbourne

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A former Barnsley College catering student is delighting diners Down Under with some fantastic flavours from Yorkshire.

Matt Wilkinson, who studied in the town in 1996 and 1997, is the joint owner of Pope Joan, a café, restaurant and bar in the lively East Brunswick area of Melbourne.

The 34-year-old was brought up in Silkstone and worked in London and Edinburgh after completing his studies before moving to Australia where his career gathered pace.

He launched Pope Joan in 2010 and the venue has established an excellent reputation, along with its adjoining produce and takeaway shop Hams and Bacon.

Matt is currently working on his second cookery book Simply Dressed by Mr Wilkinson, after the success of his first publication Mr Wilkinson’s Favourite Vegetables, which sold over 100,000 copies worldwide.

Matt said: “Studying at Barnsley College was a brilliant time of my life, so many good things have come from my time there and without my tutor John Stevenson, who sadly is no longer with us, I would not have had such amazing opportunities.

“If you have a dream, give it a go and if it doesn’t work at least you have tried.”