Jesse Dunford Wood

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Jesse Dunford Wood is an award winning Brazilian-born (1977) English chef. Dunford Wood is considered an expert in modern British food, is a frequent guest on the BBC program Celebrity MasterChef, and won Time Out's 2007 Best British Restaurant Award.

Early life and education[edit]

After schooling at Leighton Park in Berkshire, he began his cooking career by training in the kitchen of Scotland's The Witchery by the Castle. From there he moved to a more contemporary Scottish restaurant, the Atrium, run by Andrew and Lisa Radford, which over the years has won numerous awards for its food, modern design and wine list.[1]

Dunford Wood then relocated to the West Country where he studied French cooking at Gidleigh Park Hotel in Devon under Chef Michael Caines, holder of two Michelin stars.[2]



Moving to Australia, he worked in Sydney's 'Best New Restaurant' VII under Japanese Chef Nori Sugie cooking French-Japanese fusion, and went on to work with Chef/owner Mark Best at Marque, considered as one of Sydney's top French restaurants, cooking contemporary French food.[3]

Back in London in 2003, Dunford Wood spent some time at the Le Gavroche in Mayfair with chef Michel Roux Jr, a restaurant that has had many of Britain’s top chefs pass through its kitchens over the years.[4]

Finding an opening at Kensington Place, He spent the first of two spells as Sous Chef at one of the most important British restaurants of the last 20 years, run by Rowley Leigh.[5]

But then he moved to America with a position at the legendary Charlie Trotter's in his Chicago kitchens.[6] While still in the United States he worked at Balthazar Restaurant, a successful and busy French brasserie in Soho, New York City, and also at the ground-breaking 71 Clinton Fresh Food in the Lower East Side, where he worked front of the restaurant.[citation needed]

In early 2006, Dunford Wood teamed up with Oliver Peyton to open his restaurants in the National Gallery as Executive Chef.[7] The National Dining Rooms served seasonal modern British food, and it received rave reviews on opening, and went on to win the Time Out Award for 'Best British Restaurant' in September 2007.[8]

Television and events[edit]

Away from the restaurant, TV appearances include the BBC's MasterChef and The Truth About Food, he has been a participant at The Taste of London Food Festival in Regent's Park.[9]


  1. ^ "The Atrium Restaurant's Awards". Retrieved 2008-06-17.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Two Star Michael Caines". Archived from the original on 2008-06-15. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
  3. ^ "A brilliant combination of brains and beauty". Sydney Morning Herald. 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
  4. ^ "It is hard to overstate the importance of Le Gavroche on British gastronomy". London. 2002-05-12. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
  5. ^ "Most recently worked with Rowley Leigh". Evening Standard. 2006-03-15. Retrieved 2008-06-15.
  6. ^ "The Best Restaurants in the World". The Restaurant Magazine. Archived from the original on 2008-06-23. Retrieved 2008-06-17.
  7. ^ "The National Dining Rooms, London WC2". The Independent. 2006-03-26. Retrieved 2008-06-15.[]
  8. ^ "Time Out Eating & Drinking Awards winners". Time Out. 2007-09-14. Archived from the original on 2008-06-11. Retrieved 2008-06-15.
  9. ^ "Taste of London recipes". Channel Retrieved 2008-06-15.