The Dine Team
Meet some of the people behind Dine..
Matt Jones, Commercial Director
Matt has been a member of the Dine team in one guise or another since 2001. A graduate of Leeds University, Matt originally trained as a teacher before deciding to turn his part-time role at Dine into a career.
As well as managing our business development, sales and marketing functions across the Dine Group, Matt also runs a number of our high profile corporate & private events and marquee weddings (mainly because he is really good at it!). When not at work, Matt can be found playing with his new daughter, making furniture or snowboarding.
Who’s your hero and why? Robin Hood because he created something from nothing, lived in a forest, had a bow and arrow and had a cool & efficient system for redistributing wealth
If you were a drink, what would you be and why? Decaff Earl Grey – old people seem to like me and I’m highly unlikely to keep you up past your bed time
Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson? Why? I’d like to put them both in a blender and pulse for a long time
Daniel Gill, Managing Director
After gaining an MA at Edinburgh University, Daniel began his training at Leith’s Events and Parties as an Event Manager. In 1995 he moved to Mustard Catering as Personal Assistant to the Managing Director, catering for clients including FTSE 100 companies, Downing Street and the Queen. Daniel founded Dine in 1998 to provide a bespoke events and catering service to clients across the North of England.
Dan spends his time working with the team developing menus and ideas, as well as running events. Outside work, he can usually be found 'researching' new menus and wine or enjoying the outdoors with Helen & the boys.
Who’s your hero and why? Charlie Trotter as he embodied total professionalism, attention to detail and innovation, both in terms of food and service.
Any hidden talents? Cooking a Full English over a small campfire.
Most famous person you have met? Nelson Mandela – I worked as a butler for an event at No.1 London and he made a point of shaking hands with every member of staff before being seated for dinner.
Mark Dawson, Executive Head Chef
A hugely experienced Event Chef, Mark started his career with the RAF before moving into hotels before joining Dine in 2009 ready for the launch of The Mansion.
His logistical expertise allow us to deliver a high quality food service in some "challenging" environments as well as venues such as The Mansion. Mark oversees our entire catering operation as well as working closely with our MD on menu development and food innovation. Outside of work, Mark can be found spending quality time with his children.
Who’s your hero and why? My granddad, he had 5 daughters and still spent a great deal of time at home – he was a brave man!
If a genie gave you a wish what would you wish for? To start again taking the knowledge I now have
What is the one thing you cannot do without? Coffee
Craig Squelch, Head of Events
Craig trained at Blackpool College gaining an OND and HND in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management. After over 20 years in the hotel trade, from trainee manager to General Manager and working all over the country from Guernsey to Yorkshire, Craig has broken away from the hotel industry for a new challenge at Dine Events.
Joining the team in June 2010 as an Event Manager, Craig has a great eye for detail, a passion for events and is very much enjoying the variety that each week at Dine brings. Outside of work, you’re most likely to find Craig in one of Yorkshire’s finest Restaurants, wine merchants or pottering in his garden!
Natalie Richardson, Event Manager
Natalie has a strong background in Hotels and Events and also joined the Dine team in 2015, looking after events and Weddings at Allerton Castle. Her attention to detail and unflappable exterior is a perfect match for her Allerton Brides, who can be assured that nothing is missed!
Outside of work, Natalie enjoys her days off working alongside her husband in their café, and baking cakes – rare down time involves walking their dog through the fabulous countryside and putting her feet up with a good book.
Tell us a secret I have a HUGE phobia of fish and anything that lives in the sea
If you were a drink, what would you be and why? Orangina - a bit wide at the bottom and needs a bit of a shake sometimes
If a genie gave you a wish what would you wish for? World peace (or less wrinkles)
Harriet Ashton, Event Manager
Harriet has a background in hotels and was keen to take the leap into the world of Events in 2015 when she started with Dine. She jumped in at the deep end right at the beginning of an exceptionally busy summer, but has brought a wealth of happiness and sunshine to the team with her enduring upbeat personality. Harriet is mainly based at The Mansion, but has spent this summer getting to grips with the full range of Dine Events and already has a growing collection of thank you letters to her name!
When not working, Harriet enjoys the great outdoors, walking, finding the best places to eat (she’s a foodie too of course) and going to festivals.
Best Party you’ve ever been to or worked on? A wrap party with Sir David Jason
Who’s your hero and why? The Very Hungry Caterpillar – why not?
Any hidden talents? Photographic memory, I can look at a page with numerous pictures in a short space of time, once taken from me I can recite all the pictures in order
Daniel Perkins, Event Manager
Daniel is our resident guru on all things related to drinks, cocktails and bars as he used to work at The Botanist. Dan works mainly at Nostell Priory but loves working across a full range of venues and events – it’s the variety of what we do that keeps our ideas fresh.
Daniel has had a fabulously busy first summer with Dine, outside of work you’ll find him working on a range of DIY projects in his new house, in the gym or catching up with friends.
What was your favourite childhood food? Having been born and raised in South Africa it has to be Biltong - the South African dried cured meat
Any hidden talents?
I have played to a high standard of sport (Country and International) and I can make roughly 156 cocktails from memory
Who would you most like to have dinner with? A collection of Guy Martin, Nelson Mandela, my Grandfather, Tony Adams, James Cracknell and Marilyn Monroe.
Craig Shepherd, Sales & Events Manager
Craig begun working with Dine two years ago as Senior Events & Venues Manager of The Mansion. Although Craig is based mainly at The Mansion he still really enjoys running events at our other venues, and is known throughout the company for his cheery disposition and calm exterior. Craig’s role has recently taken more focus on sales and speaking with enquiries, allowing him to spend more time with his little boy.
Outside of work, Craig loves spending time with his family and is also a Trustee of the Include Foundation, providing disabled and disadvantaged children with an opportunity to play sport.
What’s your favourite restaurant? The Samling in Bowness
What’s your favourite film? The Notebook
Most famous person you have met? Bobby Charlton, Alex Ferguson and the Duchess of Kent
Dave Mitchell, Operations and Events Assistant
Dave has worked for Dine since 2009, and is now based full time at The Mansion looking after the vast array of equipment in the stores and company fleet – he also assists the team on events. Dave is known for his practicality and ability to fix almost anything, which is invaluable, especially on events!
Outside of work, Dave can often be found putting up a Shades marquee or playing on his computer.
Tell us a secret It’s not gaffer tape that fixes everything, it’s Alan keys…..
What’s your favourite restaurant? Little Tokyo. Their deep fried ice cream with seaweed syrup is awesome
Any hidden talents? Give me 5 minutes to practice and I can do a pretty good juggling routine!
Sophie Brooks, Head of Wedding Planning, Training, Quality & Innovation
Sophie is another very longstanding member of the team, having run Allerton Castle for over 7 years. Sophie took on a new role in July 2015, and is now offering a more detailed planning service to our clients across the group, as well as working with the Events team to develop skills, and discovering new ideas to provide a better service to all of our clients and guests.
When not working, Sophie spends much of her time with her family - baking cupcakes with her daughter, walking their Border Collie and has a new found love of photography and interior design!
Best Party you’ve ever been to/ worked on? An incredible Dine marquee wedding; attended by Prince William & Kate at our fabulous Allerton Lakeside site!
Any hidden talents? I’m a qualified dance teacher Who would you most like to have dinner with?
Ellie Hinds, Business & Marketing Manager
Ellie began at Dine at the end of 2014 as PA to Daniel Gill, and quickly progressed to Business & Marketing Manager. Ellie oversees the marketing for the group, but also really enjoys meeting clients and running events when time permits!
Outside of work you’ll find Ellie either at the airport jetting off for an exotic city break, or retreating to the Lake District with her partner in their trusty camper van.
If you were a drink, what would you be and why? I’d be a Cosmo because I’m like Carrie out of Sex & The City – the likeness is uncanny!
What’s your favourite restaurant? I’m currently loving Tharavadu in Leeds – a Kerala Indian restaurant. Great place and decent prices
Who would you most like to have dinner with? James Corden, David & Victoria Beckham, Hilary Clinton, Graham Norton and all the Kardashian Family
Jenny Mason, Marketing Executive
Jenny has been with Dine since the beginning of 2006 in a variety of guises; starting as a Trainee Events Manager, progressing to Events Manager and then taking a side step into a role in Marketing – 3 children later, she now works part time at The Mansion assisting with Marketing projects. She has been known to come out of event retirement for the odd busy weekend and wedding exhibition.
Time outside of work is usually spent chasing children around parks, planning most things on Pinterest and eating in good restaurants when babysitters permit!
Who’s your hero and why? Nigella Lawson – anyone who eats food straight from the fridge in the middle of the night has my vote..
What’s your favourite restaurant? The Stagg Inn, in Herefordshire where I begun waitressing when I was 16. It’s in the middle of no-where but has a Michelin star and is definitely worth a visit
Best Party you’ve ever been to or worked on? Would either be the Sandhurst ball where I met my husband or my first ever event for Dine which was an incredible Venetian Ball – I’d never seen anything like that before and the production of it still awes me now
Samantha Curtis, Sales & Marketing Assistant
Sam has been with Dine for nearly 10 years, predominantly in the role of sales and marketing support, but she has a huge range of knowledge and experience of the business and she helps with almost anything! Sam works on Monday and Tuesdays and she is an invaluable member of the team, particularly over the Summer months when Event Managers are rarely at their desks!
Outside of work, Sam most enjoys spending time with her family and catching up with friends in one of the many restaurants and bars of Ilkley.
Who’s your hero and why? My husband - he’s put up with me for 25 years!
Most famous person you have met? Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones
What is the one thing you cannot do without? My hair straighteners
Helen Gill, Venue Liaison & Project Assistant
Helen began her hospitality career working in restaurants with industry stalwarts Marco Pierre White and Tom Aitken. Since she joined Dine in 1998 she has worked in almost every area of the business. After periods away from Dine working in IT Consultancy and to raise a family she returned to Dine in a back office role.
Away from work, Helen can be found shivering on the edge of a rugby pitch cheering on her boys, or with Daniel ‘researching’ fabulous restaurants – tough job, we know..
What was your favourite childhood food? Chocolate Angel Delight. I’m sure they must have changed the recipe though because I had it a few years ago and it was nothing like I remembered
If you were a drink, what would you be and why? Pimms and lemonade, because I’m very English, a bit quirky and chilled
What’s your favourite restaurant? Murano. Angela Hartnett is a genius chef, fabulous food and atmosphere but very comfortable and accessible too