Simon Wright trained as a chef at leading restaurants in London, including at Harvey's where he worked with Gordon Ramsay for the legendary Marco Pierre White. He then travelled through Asia and Australia to New Zealand, arriving in the late 1990s and meeting Creghan Molloy (then maitre d' at the much admired Number Five City Road), whom he would later marry.
He was working at Woody's when he learned that the famous French Cafe was on the market. Taking the plunge he and Creghan bought the restaurant in 1999 with business partners Simone Forde and Chris Mackay. They later bought the restaurant outright and went on to win a string of major awards, in particular in the annual Cuisine and Metro restaurant of the year awards.