Michael Carr and Ben Wood join Wilding as head chefs

By Restaurant

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Michael Carr and Ben Wood join Wilding as head chefs

Related tags Wilding Kent Barker Eight Stony Street Restaurant Fine dining Oxford

Oxford-based neighbourhood restaurant, wine bar and shop, Wilding has named Michael Carr and Ben Wood as its new head chefs.

The pair have previously worked together at the Fenchurch Restaurant on level 37 of Sky Garden in London and have now joined owner and wine director Kent Barker​ to develop the site’s wine-forward fine dining concept.  

Wilding, which launched in 2021, has undergone a full kitchen refit which has included installing a pass in the heart of the restaurant and a small chef’s counter at its side. 

The restaurant will introduce the pair’s modern British menu from 30 August, with new dishes on the menu to include nibbles such as Porthilly oysters and smoked Jalapeno; and ‘Posh Northern Tea’ with chip, roast curry sauce, crème fraiche and caviar, and small plates such as coal roasted leek ‘Caesar’; and picanha beef tartare and Burford yolk.

Main dishes will include baked crab rice with lobster mayonnaise; Herdwick lamb, courgette and curds and Cotswold pork chop with preserved lemon and salsa verde.

Dishes will be accompanied by a 400-strong wine list with an emphasis on organic, biodynamic and sustainable production.

“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Michael and Ben to the team, as we look to elevate the menu to match our exceptional low-intervention wine list,” says Barker.

“Michael and Ben are a tried and tested partnership – they each bring their own personality and cooking styles to the kitchen to create something even greater than the sum of its parts.

"Wilding is the culmination of a lifelong journey for me, and I feel we can now deliver the full realisation of the Wilding concept; re-wilding the dining scene with a refined, indulgent and fun experience built around the very best sustainably sourced wine and food.

“Between Michael, Ben and myself, we have a unique set of skills and knowledge, and we hope to add something truly special to the Oxford dining scene.” 

The Oxford site is now the only Wilding restaurant following the closure of the Salisbury venue at the end of last year, 15 months after it launched.​ ​Barker also owns restaurant and wine bar Eight Stony Street in Frome.

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