The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Masterchef winner Simon Wood set to open his first restaurant in Manchester

Two top professionals have been recruited to head the team at WOOD

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If you can’t remember Simon Wood’s appearance on Masterchef, then you’re not nearly a good enough fan. His gentle demeanor, mouthwatering ingredient choice, and classy plating skills left every viewer in awe. Now, the Oldham chef is set to open his first restaurant named WOOD in Manchester.

The restaurant, which will be located on Jack Rosenthal Street at First Street, will be serving an a-la-carte lunch and dinner menu, a pre-theatre and concert menu, and a seasonal tasting menu. The interior space is being designed to reflect nature and natural wood, and an open-kitchen will dominate the restaurant.

The North West’s only Masterchef winner has also confirmed two top professionals are joining his team. The Head Chef will be Mike Jennings, who honed his skills by being mentored by world renowned Shaun Rankin at Bohemia Restaurant in Jersey.

After seven years he brought his knowledge home and began working at Northcote before taking over Grenache in 2012. Located in the suburbs of Salford, Mike was able to carve out his own style, achieving a Michelin recommendation in the first year, two AA Rosettes on his first inspection and a nomination for the Good Food Guide’s Best Restaurant amongst many other awards.

Mike comments: “Simon’s vision and enthusiasm excites me, he’s not afraid to cook from the heart, something I share completely. I can’t wait to work alongside him creating amazing food that this incredible city deserves.”

In addition, James Cunningham will join the team as general manager. James has worked for successful names spanning from Michael Caines to Harvey Nichols.

James comments: “It is a fantastic honour to be asked to be involved with WOOD Manchester. Simon’s cuisine and vision are incredibly exciting and will bring something new to the Manchester restaurant scene. I can’t wait to open this amazing new venture to the Manchester public!”

When it launches this summer WOOD will be open Tuesday to Saturday and will be sure to be Manchester’s new favourite foodie paradise.