Ex-Rockpool executive chef, Phil Wood, has been named as the first culinary director for Pt Leo Estate.
Pt Leo is a family-owned Estate on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula that will be opening late spring this year featuring a restaurant, cellar door and sculpture park, with Wood set to come onboard in late July.
Wood will be in charge of a 110-seat restaurant and separate private dining room, which will be opened on the site overlooking Western Port Bay towards Phillip Island.
Estate-grown wines will be featured as will produce from the Estate itself and the many surrounding farms in the region.
“This is a truly exciting opportunity for me,” Wood said. “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.”
Wood has spent the past eight years at the Rockpool Group including seven as executive chef of Rockpool 1989 and its incarnation as Eleven Bridge. He was awarded three chef’s hats in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide for the past six consecutive years. The restaurant has been awarded three stars by Australian Gourmet Traveller every year since 2009 and in 2016, it was that publication’s Restaurant of the Year.
Born in New Zealand, Wood won 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 gave him the opportunity to take on the role of chef de partie at Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry in the Napa Valley in 2007. Wood returned to Sydney and joined Rockpool est. 1989 as head chef in March 2009 before his appointment as Executive Chef in 2010.