Michael Wignall’s experience of freshly cooked food and multi-cultural cuisine started at a young age, travelling extensively from the Far East, to the United States and across Europe. Although exposed to a variety of international gastronomy, aspiring to be a top chef was not Michael’s first passion.
As a teen, Michael had a prom1s1ng career as a professional BMX biker, however, his parents encouraged him to attend catering college. After three years, Michael moved to Spain to experience front of house, authentic cooking and the cuisine the country had to offer.
Upon his return to the UK, Michael’s professional career started at Broughton Park, under Paul Heathcote, moving with him to his restaurant in Longbridge, Preston, followed by a spell working with John Burton Race at L’Ortolan. Following this he headed up Old Beams, Staffordshire, Waldo’s Restaurant in Cliveden Hotel, Michael’s Nook and the Burlington Restaurant at The Devonshire Arms, earning a Michelin star at each.
Michael joined Exclusive Hotels in November 2007. With a wealth of experience already under his belt and consequently the discovery of his own style and identity, The Latymer became one of the top restaurants in the country. It was awarded its first Michelin star and gained five AA rosettes in 2011 and added the second Michelin star in 2012. Aside from The Latymer, Michael also stagiaires at top restaurants in France and Spain, including Pierre Gagnaire in Paris.
Michael produces incredibly complex, technically accomplished dishes. His attention to detail and dedication to the pursuit of perfection in flavour, texture and appearance knows no bounds. His reputation of working with suppliers and producers, ensuring all elements are fresh and sustainable, adds to the faultlessness of his dishes.
Out of the kitchen, Michael’s love for extreme sport still exists- particularly Wakeboarding which still plays a massive part in his life. He also travels the world to find new inspirations and ideas to pair with locally sourced, British produce.
From January 2016, Michael made his move from The Latymer (Pennyhill Park) to Gidleigh Park, Chagford. This was lauded the highest profile culinary takeover of 2016 by the likes of Jay Rayner and within 10 months Michelin announced its two stars retained. In 2017, he was awarded five AA rosettes – the first time the AA has ever awarded five rosettes mid-year, in its 61 year history.
In September 2018, Michael, along with his wife Johanna took over the Angel Inn at Hetton. Subject to planning permissions, work will begin on a second restaurant, Cove, situated in the old Wine Cave on the grounds of The Angel.
In September 2019 (and within Michael’s 1st year at The Angel), Michael and the team were awarded 1 Michelin star in the UK & Ireland 2020 guide. Michelin came hot on the heels of the AA Hospitality Awards, which took place just two weeks earlier and saw the Angel receive four coveted rosettes for Michael’s cooking.
1993 Michelin Star and 4 AA Rosettes at The Burlington at The Devonshire Arms
2007 Michael Wignall at the Latymer opens
2008 ‘Best Restaurant Newcomer’ Which? Good Food Guide
2009 4 AA Rosettes
2009 One Michelin Star
2011 5 AA Rosettes
2012 Two Michelin Stars
2013 Creative Director at Cafe Football, Manchester
2013 Michael Wignall MasterChef: The Professionals
2014 Retained 2 Michelin stars and 5 AA rosettes
2015 Retained 2 Michelin stars and 5 AA rosettes
2016 Michael joins Gidleigh Park
2016 Retained 2 Michelin stars
2017 5 AA rosettes
2017 Retained 2 Michelin stars
2018 Chef Patron at The Angel Inn, Hetton
2019 4 AA Rosettes
2019 One Michelin Star