Our Team

 
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Paul Parnell -
Landlord

With a career history running hotels in Bavaria and then the New Forest, hospitality has always been in the blood. Pubs were just a natural progression.

In 1992, with very limited funds, I bought the freehold of the Jack - a tired and dilapidated roadside pub in need of some serious TLC. With the A30 bypass pending, everyone told me it was a disaster waiting to happen. The rest is now history. After 27 years of hard work, over £9.5 million spent on local food and drink, two kitchens and three refurbishments, we are still going from strength to strength both as a business and as a team.

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Matthew Mason -
Head Chef

After serving an apprenticeship under the tutorage of Shaun Hill at Gidleigh Park, I took over the Jack kitchen in 1993. A year later we became one of the first pubs to achieve 2 AA rosettes - an award that we have maintained ever since. I won the 'South West Chef of the Year' competition in 2010 and am proud to have trained 3 subsequent winners. Along the way the pub has also won praise from Michelin and The Good Food Guide whilst featuring regularly in the UK's Top 50 Gastropubs.

2019 marks my 25th year of continuous service as the Jack’s head chef - it’s a very rare occurrence in this industry and an achievement that I’m immensely proud of.

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Joanne Mason - Manageress

I began my catering career working for Paul part-time whilst attending Catering College. Now some 27 years later, I still relish the challenge of working at the Jack as part of an energetic team always pushing for the next level.

Seven years ago Matthew and I tied the knot and we now live in Ottery with our two boys, Max and Charlie, who keep us busy and entertained when not at work. We all enjoy our trips abroad and making the most of precious family time together. As a central part of the Front of House team, I feel proud to be part of the Jack's achievements and look forward to what is to come.

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Craig Griffin -
Sous Chef

After taking an interest in cooking at an early age, following school I attended East Devon College where I gained my NVQ levels 2 & 3 in Catering. During this time I did 2 months of work experience at Rick Stein’s Padstow Seafood Restaurant where I developed various fish skills and gained a wealth of hands-on experience.

I started at The Jack in the Green 8 years ago again and am relishing the prospect of furthering my career here. When I am not at work I enjoy watching the Exeter teams playing football and Premiership rugby.

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Miranda Burton - Manageress

Having started my journey at the Jack 3 years ago, I couldn’t have fallen into better hands. After being introduced to the industry via a part-time job, the passion that I have developed here only continues to grow.

Recently promoted, I’m looking forward to working closely with the team to continue my learning alongside completing my apprenticeship. When I’m not working, I enjoy keeping fit, running and going to the gym as well as spending time with my friends and eating out sampling other restaurants. I’m lucky to have my family close by who I spend as much time as I can with.

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Keenan Paver -
Senior Chef de Partie

Born in Exeter and now based by the sea in Exmouth, I’ve had a love of food and cooking from a very early age. As a teenager, I served my apprenticeship at Exeter College and achieved my Level 2 and 3 in Hospitality.

Following college I spent 2 years cooking at The Redwing in Lympstone. I’ve been at the Jack for 18 months now and am looking forward to many more years of learning and development with Matthew and the team.

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Aidan King -
Senior Chef de Partie

I got into catering at the age of 13 via my first pot wash job. Back then I used to watch the chefs plate up beautiful looking dishes and from that moment I knew the catering industry was the perfect fit for me.

I have since completed my level 1, 2 and 3 in Professional Cookery and also my ABC Patisserie qualification. I did my work experience here at the Jack and it is now where I want to stay and progress. I have already learnt a lot and hope to learn more from the team around me. In my spare time I am a keen cyclist with a target this year of riding 5,000 miles to help support FORCE Cancer in Exeter.

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Callum Whittington -
Chef de Partie

I joined the Jack 6 years ago and initially worked part-time washing up whilst I finished school. I then went to college and achieved my Level 1 and 2 in Catering.

Now that I’m full-time, Matthew has taught me the basics of how to cook professionally and I predominantly help with prep and starters. Out of work, I am a big rugby fan and when weekend shifts allow, I enjoy watching the Exeter Chiefs play at Sandy Park. As a young chef, I take great pride in being part of an ambitious kitchen team.


The Jack in the Green is an institution – anyone who knows anything about good food has heard about this unusual pub in the heart of Devon. It’s won countless awards and the success has clearly rubbed off on the team, as there’s a happy confidence which permeates the whole enterprise.
— Food Magazine