Taking the helm at Waldo’s Restaurant in Clivenden Hotel in Berkshire, he retained their Michelin star and achieved four AA rosettes. Following this was Michael’s Nook in the Lake District where he stayed as head chef for four years, retaining their four AA rosettes and Michelin star. Moving to The Burlington Restaurant at The Devonshire Arms in the Yorkshire Dales, he ran the kitchen here for five years, where only six months after joining he again secured a Michelin star and four rosettes.
Michael's biggest achievement was at the Latymer Restaurant at Pennyhill Park, where he built the restaurant up from a two-rosette establishment to the two Michelin star establishment it is today. Anointing the restaurant with five rosettes in 2011 (one of only eight restaurants in the UK to receive such an accolade), the AA said Michael Wignall’s food had reached 'the ultimate level', continuing: 'The cooking style is complex but delivered with immaculate precision. Depth of flavour is stunning, presentation beautiful and each dish is full of texture, vibrancy and excitement. Michael Wignall takes a highly technical, modern approach to his craft: dishes are complex, but based on classical themes, delivering light, elegant food with clear, intense flavours and exciting textures.'
The restaurant’s first Michelin star came in 2009, with its second awarded in 2012. 'Two stars was amazing, but it’s a bit of an empty feeling because I wasn’t thinking ‘we’re going to go for two stars’ – when you do get it, obviously it’s amazing, but what do you do now?' he told us. 'It’s not the be all and end all.'
In January 2016, Michael left the Latymer for Gidleigh Park, in Devon, where he continues to wow diners with his effortlessly brilliant dishes.
Michael believes it is incredibly important to put time and effort into training younger chefs in his kitchen. He will often push them to come up with their own dishes using just five ingredients to stimulate their creativity.
Growing up in the Lake District means game holds huge nostalgic value for Michael, and makes a regular appearance on his menus.
Michael's dishes go through an incredibly critical screening process before they make it onto a menu, often being tinkered about with daily for months until they're deemed ready.
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