Two decades on from the halcyon days of The Sugar Club, the “King of Fusion”, Peter, still reigns supreme on the London dining scene.
In that time he has built up his own restaurant empire, straddling both hemispheres and numerous styles of gastronomy; serving everything from gourmet burgers to laksa.
Despite both of The Sugar Club restaurants in London now being closed (though the name has been resurrected by Peter on the 53rd floor of Auckland’s Sky Tower), Marylebone’s The Providores and Tapa Room and Covent Garden’s Kopapa have more than made up for their absence. Other consultancies of Gordon’s include Changa and Müzedechanga (Turkey), Bellota (New Zealand), Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Crosstown Doughnuts (UK).
Of Maori and Scottish descent, Peter grew up in Wanganui, New Zealand, and was captivated by cookery from an early age. He suffered severe burns to the body after an accident with a deep-fat fryer, for which a skin graft was required, but wasn’t put off. While still a teenager, he moved to Melbourne for a four-year cookery apprenticeship, before travelling round South East Asia soaking up the knowledge that would later inform his award-winning cuisine at The Sugar Club – where he was Executive Chef.
While fusion cuisine continues to provoke heated debate, Peter remains eloquent in its defence.
“Purists say you can’t mix something Italian with something Vietnamese but that’s ridiculous. I think if it tastes good, why does it matter? I just love flavours and ingredients and the possibility of what can be mixed and matched well.”
Peter’s cooking style defines itself not by borders but by the pursuit of exciting flavours and ingredients. He is equally adept in many different styles, but seems to harbour particular affection for the cuisines of Thailand, Spain, Turkey and Japan; magpie-ing elements from each to conjure his unique creations.
His cookbooks are legendary – honest, accessible and informative in their exploration of global cuisine, and his frequent appearances on television screens both down under and in Britain follow a similar theme.
Away from the kitchen, Peter has a passion for philanthropy, inspired by the experience of donating bone marrow to his sister while she was suffering from Leukaemia.