Head chef Seymour Millington is playing a key role in maintaining the Proact Stadium’s enviable reputation as one of the finest conference & banqueting venues in the region.
A past winner of the Conference Venue of the Year at the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards, the Proact is competing with two other venues for the prize at this year’s event, which place on Wednesday evening.
Seymour is himself celebrating a victory, beating off strong competition to win the coveted Sheff’s Kitchen title in Sheffield on Friday night.
The 37-year-old is aware of the perception that some people have about the catering on offer at football stadia. Having also worked previously at Doncaster Rovers, Hull City and Rotherham United, he has been doing his bit to change that image.
Seymour said: “I’ve found in the past that stadiums have a bit of a stigma attached. I've had it many a time where people have questioned why I am in a football club, asking whether I just do pie and Bovril! It’s trying to get away from that and I think it’s the perfect opportunity to do it. I think the vision is just to cook and to provide a very good standard.”
After studying Hospitality and Catering at Sheffield College, Seymour moved to London and worked at the prestigious Park Lane Hotel. He returned north to work at the Riverside House Hotel in Ashford-in-the-Water.
Seymour then went to Manchester to work as the pastry chef at Rhodes & Co before moving across the city to the Raddison Edwardian five-star hotel, becoming head chef there at the age of 23.
Seymour’s excellent reputation in the industry led to him becoming a Master Chef of Great Britain. “There’s a lot of organisations that you can buy-in to but this one you have to be invited and approved by two fellow Master Chefs of Great Britain,” he explained.
“You have to provide a certain standard of food and you have to upkeep that certain standard as well so that’s probably my biggest achievement. I think there are only around 60 Master Chefs of Great Britain.”
There are plans to hold a fine dining evening with Seymour at the Proact where guests will enjoy a meal prepared by him and he will talk about the food.
To view a video interview interview with Seymour on our YouTube channel, please click here.
Good luck to Seymour and the rest of the conference & banqueting team on Wednesday evening!