Chef Phil Wood joins Pt Leo Estate as culinary director

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Phil Wood, the new culinary director of the culinary director of Pt Leo Estate.

Mornington Peninsula's Pt Leo Estate has revealed ex-Rockpool chef Phil Wood is set to take the reigns of the restaurant as their first culinary director.

Opening in late spring of this year, Pt Leo is a family-owned estate which includes a restaurant, cellar door and sculpture park.

Overlooking western Port Bay towards Phillip Island, the Pt Leo Estate restaurant features a 110-seat dining hall plus separate private dining room.

Wood is thrilled with his new role. He says, "This is a truly exciting opportunity for me.

"The Mornington Peninsula is such a stunning part of the world and being involved in a project that encompasses food, wine and art couldn’t be more perfect.

"An opportunity like this only comes once in a lifetime, and I’d like to thank the Gandel family for placing their trust in me. Once I visited the property and sat with the family a number of times, it became a pretty easy decision to make."

Born in New Zealand, Wood takes on the position of culinary director after eight years at the Rockpool Group, including seven as executive chef of Rockpool 1989 and then Eleven Bridge.

For the past six consecutive years, he was awarded three chef’s hats by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.

Rockpool 1989 was also awarded three stars by Australian Gourmet Traveller every year since 2009 and in 2016, it was named the magazine's Restaurant of the Year.

Wood was also the recipient of the Josephine Pignolet Award for Best Young Chef at the 2007 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide awards while he was Junior Sous Chef at Tetsuya's.

This led to the role of chef de partie at Thomas Keller's The French Laundry in the Napa Valley in 2007 before Wood returned to Sydney in March 2009.

Wood will join the Pt Leo Estate team in late July.

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