The Weekender Interview: Peter Gordon

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Peter Gordon Providores

Related tags: Restaurants

Oft dubbed the 'godfather of fusion cooking', New Zealand-born Peter Gordon arrived in the UK in 1989 and made his name at The Sugar Club in Notting Hill. His current portfolio includes the Providores and Tapa Room in London and The Sugar Club in Auckland.

What image do you currently have on your phone’s wallpaper?
My partner Al and I at lunch to celebrate the day he was given his gong 'Companion of the New Zealand order of Merit by HM the Queen’.

What was your first job?
I was a waiter for 5 days at a Melbourne restaurant called Miettas in 1981. I said I’d like to be a chef instead and got sacked.

Gordon or Marco?
Is there anyone else...

What was the last film you saw in the cinema?
Call Me By Your Name.

What is your guiltiest food pleasure?
Whittakers chocolate bars from New Zealand. 

Where are you going on your next holiday?
Hydra, Greece.

What industry figure do you most admire (and why)?
I admire any hospitality teacher who makes an impact as without them we will slowly become redundant.  

If you weren’t in restaurants, what would you do?
I'd be a potter.

Biggest regret?
I have none.

Pet hate?
Meanness.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
I have a nut allergy, but only in desserts.

Marmite: love it or hate it?
Love it.

Describe your cooking style in three words
Punchy fusion flavours.

What country do you next want to visit?
Argentina.

Most overrated food?
Milk-fed lamb

Restaurant czar for a day – what would you implement?
Waiters to never have one hand behind their back as they pour the wine.

What’s the worst review you’ve ever had?
AA Gill never got me, but we sat next to each other at the Time Out Awards in 1995 or 96 when The Sugar Club won best Modern British Restaurant. I came back to the table and he’d left.

What made you want to become a chef?
I made my first cookbook aged four - a scrapbook from Women Weekly type things. I burnt myself aged seven when I tipped a deep-fryer over my head. Even though I had a skin graft and lost about a year of primary school, I have always wanted to cook.

What do you cook at home on your days off?
I love to cook at home for friends - brunch through to dinner - I really enjoy it. Anything from Turkish eggs to a dinner with five or six dishes on the table for people to help themselves.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Passion will help you. Without that it can just seem like a lot of hard work. 

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
A bar blender.

iPhone or Android?
iPhone.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Taste, taste, taste.

What’s your earliest memory?
Aged three, being hung on the clothes line inside my father’s work overalls.

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
Internally I’m always hair down.

Twitter or Instagram?
Instagram.

Tipple of choice?
Glenfiddich 21 year old with a dash of iced water

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
Duck coconut curry, sticky rice, lots of coriander and crispy shallots

Related topics: People

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