How I Got Here: Peter del Campo

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

How I Got Here with chef Peter del Campo

Related tags: Chef, Restaurant, Hotel, London

Brazilian-born chef Peter del Campo joined the team at Blakes Hotel in Kensington more than a decade ago, and has overseen the kitchen there since 2014.

Why restaurants?
When I first moved to London, my first job was in the kitchen and it was love at first sight. I could not ask for a better career, it never gets boring.

Tell us something you wish you had been told at the start of your career?
I wish someone told me at the very beginning how to separate friendships and working relationships.

What do you do in your spare time?
When I’m not playing football with my two boys, I love spending time looking after my garden and being in contact with the nature.

What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants (besides your current one)?
My favourite restaurant is the beach house in Oxwich Bay. I accidentally discovered it on my wife’s birthday and I had the best time.

What would you be doing if you weren’t in restaurants?
I would probably be running my father’s car mechanic garage, which was even named after me. However, fixing cars was never my passion.

What motivates you?
Acknowledging each customer’s satisfaction after their dining experience is a key factor, as equal as entering my kitchen and finding the vibes of a younger generation eager to learn, develop their skillset and work their way up to become top chefs in the industry.

Where was your last holiday?
The south of Wales; more precisely, the Gower Peninsula. In my opinion it has one of the most paradisal views in the UK.

Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
There are two chefs whom I consider as “mentors” that made a lot of difference in my career: Andrew Ward and Neville Campbell.

What keeps you up at night?
Acknowledging how the time goes by so quickly and I reflect on how I can be an even better father, husband and friend.

Worst business decision?
I never had a really bad decision. Although I do regret not having taken a job offer for an opening of a restaurant in Australia years ago. It would have certainly been a fantastic yet challenging opportunity.

Best business decision?
Going back to work at Blakes Hotel after a year gap working for another project.

What are you reading at the moment?
At the moment mostly, children books for my two boys at bed time. About myself, I do enjoy reading culinary books to keep me updated with new up and coming trends.

What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
Do not give up. It just gets better as you go along and gain experience. Learn from everyone around and equally teach them.

If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be?
Perhaps looking at even more sustainable solutions.

CV to date

Born: São Paulo (Brazil), 1978

Studied: ​Bachelor in French Cuisine, Westminster College

Employment: 

2004-2008 - Working with Ian Pengelley, opening Pengelley’s at Slone Street and Gilgamesh in Camden Town.

2008-2014 - Sous chef, Blakes Hotel

2014-present - Head chef, Blakes Hotel

Related topics: People

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