MASTERCHEF WINNER / EXECUTIVE CHEF / OWNER
Simon will be on site daily working with his team to create incredible food for everyone who visits WOOD, from Manchester and Beyond…
Former Data Manager, Simon started cooking when he could ‘reach the top of an oven’. His passion began when, at eight years old, he won a competition to be anything for a day and he chose to be a chef. Thirty years later Simon’s MasterChef win saw him fulfilling a dream he has had since he was young.
His areas of passion include fine dining, the art of plating, and teaching. His debut cookbook At Home with Simon Wood – Fine Dining Made Simple launched earlier this year.
2017 sees Simon opening his first restaurant in the First Street development bringing his unique culinary style along with his handpicked team to the heart of Manchester.
Mike first discovered his passion for food whilst helping his mum prepare Sunday lunch as a kid. He then went on to work as a pot washer in a local pub, helping peel potatoes and carrots, it was here that he realised he needed to work in a kitchen.
After training at South Trafford college for 4 years he decided to leave home and relocate to Jersey to chase his dream of cooking beautifully fresh ingredients by the sea. All under the watchful eye of his mentor, Shaun Rankin at Bohemia Restaurant. During the seven years that Mike was Senior Sous Chef, Bohemia were awarded a coveted Michelin Star, four AA Rosettes and were listed as one of the top 20 restaurants in the U.K.
In 2009, Mike decided to return home with his new craft and knowledge of fresh ingredients and accepted a job working alongside Nigel Haworth for a short time at the prestigious, Northcote Manor Hotel in Lancashire. After just under a year, he then took his first Head Chef role at the age of 28.
Working for celebrity chef Gary Rhodes OBE was one of the greatest moments in Mike’s career. Mike headed up Rhodes South down in Mudeford, Dorset.
Returning back to Manchester in 2012, Mike took over the reigns as Head Chef/ Proprietor at Grenache Restaurant. Here in the suburbs of Salford, Mike was able to really carve his own style out, 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 then had the opportunity to meet Simon Wood and after many discussions about food, it was clear that they both shared the same enthusiasm for the industry, and Manchester in particular. Mike and Simon also share the passion of wanting to create the perfect dining experience for the guest at Wood Manchester.
It was almost 25 years ago when James stepped into a restaurant as a young waiter for the first time. A small, family run business that taught him the essence of excellent service – lessons he has never forgotten.
Since then he has forged a career working for some of the most successful names in the business including Whitbread, Ramada and Harvey Nichols.
Since 2009 James’ career has been inextricably linked with Michael Caines at Andrew Brownsword Hotels, most notably at the ABode Hotels in Manchester and Chester as well as the Michelin starred Bath Priory, the historic Imperial Torquay and the stunning Slaughters Manor House.
2017 now sees James return to the Manchester dining scene where he is excited to help bring the exceptional cuisine of Simon Wood to the city working with this most dedicated and inspiring team.