Jim Wood is the Executive Chef and owner of Wood Shop Social Kitchen and Bar in Mt. Pleasant, MI. He is classically trained in French cuisine, which he adapts to New American offerings, primarily cooking with wood and fire. Jim is passionate about bringing something completely new to town and feels humbled in his attempt to serve exciting food to his community.
Jim was born and raised in Mt. Pleasant and is a 5th generation resident. He first worked as a line cook at the former Broadway Grill in downtown Mt. Pleasant when he was in high school. There he discovered the chaos of the kitchen and enjoyed everything that came along with it. After years of working in positions in both front and back of the house, he ended up north in Bellaire, MI. His first professional chef position was running the kitchen at Shorts Brewery, one of the first microbreweries to open in the area, shortly after they opened.
He went on to attend Schoolcraft College to achieve his Culinary Arts degree in Livonia, outside of Detroit. He later received his BAS with an emphasis in Hospitality from Madonna University.
After graduating, Jim was Executive Chef at Sanctuary Ranch in Stanwood, MI for 11 seasons. In 2014, he became the Executive Chef and eventual co-owner of Antlers Fireside Grill and CL Pizza Co., also in Stanwood. Jim left Antlers in May 2021 to pursue his dream of owning, operating and having complete creative control of his menu and space. That is now Wood Shop Social. He brought with him the best person he could imagine to lead his team and manage his restaurant, Una Ebert, who was the General Manager at both Antlers and CL Pizza Co.
Jim has also worked as a private consultant, was a contributing editor for Cooking Wild Magazine, has been featured on various podcasts, and was the contributing Chef for Michigan Out of Doors TV. Jim resides in Mt. Pleasant with his wife, Jenelle, and their two Vizslas and Braque Français dogs.