WOOD – Manchester, will serve an ‘unfussy’ high-end modern British menu when it launches this summer.
It marks a return to the city for Stretford-raised Jennings, who was mentored by Shaun Rankin at Bohemia in Jersey and has cooked under Nigel Haworth at Northcote Manor.
He bought Salford’s Grenache with his partner Karen in 2014 but was forced to close the restaurant in 2016 after it outgrew its 11-cover site. He then took on a role as head chef at Bacchus in Prestbury, admitting he had missed being in the kitchen.
“Simon's vision and enthusiasm excites me, he's not afraid to cook from the heart, something I share completely,” says Jennings.
“I can't wait to work alongside him creating amazing food that this incredible city deserves.”
James Cunningham, who has worked at the Michelin-starred Bath Priory hotel and restaurant, has also joined the team as general manager.
WOOD will open Tuesday to Saturday and feature an open theatre kitchen and chef’s table.
It is the debut restaurant from Wood, who worked as a data manager until he entered and won MasterChef in 2015.