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Chefs BlogWynyard Blog

Meet Executive Head Chef Michael Penaluna

Executive Head Chef, Michael Penaluna, brings Plot to Plate Dining to Wynyard Hall

Executive Head Chef, Michael, who brings more than 20 years’ experience within the hospitality industry, started cooking at the age of 15 on Newcastle’s Quayside.

‘I moved to London at the age of 17 where I worked in various prestige kitchens until I was 19. After moving back to Newcastle, I ended up working in some of the North’s leading hotels where I learnt about not just cooking but managing large teams of chefs.  In 2007 I took the job as Sous Chef at Terry Laybournes, Jesmond Dene House. While I was there I worked with some of the North-East’s best chefs new and old. After being there 3 years I was promoted to Head Chef where I held 3 AA Rosette for 7 years’.

Cooking from the Heart…

A keen believer in cooking from the heart, Michael enjoys prolonging the best tastes of the season with curing, smoking and preserving. Using his wealth of experience, the finest ingredients and focusing on the fresh seasonal produce grown within The Gardens of Wynyard Hall, Michael hopes to develop Wynyard Hall’s current food offering and create a flavoursome menu that will be enjoyed by many.

‘I like to experiment with all styles of food, in my career as a chef, I have dabbled in lots of different areas such as Classical French, Modern Italian, Scandinavian and Asian. This has all impacted where I am today with my cooking. I like to think I have moved with the times, cooking has trends whether we like it or not. I’m now at an age where I think you should cook from the heart and I like to keep my food product driven with little technicality. I’m a keen believer of the less you change a good product, the better it is.’

Since the introduction of Michael’s new menu, we have had exceptional feedback from our guests in The Wellington Restaurant and have had the same exceptionally positive feedback to the new banqueting menus from our clients.

‘Wynyard is such a beautiful place and when I first came here I was blown away with the Hall and the estate around it. I love the history and working for a family who have the same passion about the North East as I do.’

In the area? Be sure to visit our two AA rosette Wellington Restaurant. It’s the destination of choice for romantic meals, celebration dinners and casual dining alike. Both à la carte and set menus are served, promising to delight you with a delicious, nutritious and slightly indulgent experience.

‘I’m excited with what I can bring to Wynyard Hall and hope my food will be enjoyed by as many people as possible.’

Find out more about Wynyard Hall’s dining experience here.