Peter Gordon is undoubtedly one of New Zealand's most successful chefs. He is renowned for his unique culinary philosophy, influenced by his extensive travels around the world. With the release of his latest book, Peter Gordon Everyday, he talks to Colleen Thorpe about his passion - food.
YOU'RE KNOWN AS THE GODFATHER OF FUSION CUISINE. EXPLAIN WHAT FUSION IS
It's basically a cuisine that "allows" the cook to mix and match ingredients from around the world, based on their flavour and characteristics, rather than by prescribed notions of "this can't go with that". For example, the British home cook wouldn't add tamarind paste (a rich sour flavour) to a classic beef stew because tamarind is from the Middle East/Asia/India. I add it because it cuts through the richness of a traditional stew, highlighting the flavours in the classic.
WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SPECIAL (AND BELIEVE ME, IT IS)?
The recipes are very simple and straightforward, using ingredients that are easily sourced in larger supermarkets. Plus the photographs are lovely.
WHO IS THE MOST FAMOUS PERSON YOU HAVE COOKED FOR?
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR RESTAURANTS
I have four: In Auckland, Bellota is a tapas bar, casual and sexy. dine by Peter Gordon is a very lovely, glamorous casual "fine-dining" restaurant, a real foodie experience. In London, there is Kopapa, in Convent Garden: an all-day restaurant/cafe/bar from breakfast through to late dinners, right in theatre-land.
The Providores is the first-floor dining room of my restaurant on Marylebone High St, fine dining with small plates in the evening and a more typical start/main course/dessert for lunches. On the ground floor is the Tapa Room, similar to Kopapa insofar as opening hours but a slightly different, more Southeast Asian and Spanish twist on the food.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF FOOD?
Aged 4 - helping Mum make an apple pie.
WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST FAN?
WHO WAS THE MAJOR INFLUENCE IN YOUR LOVE OF COOKING?
Gran taught me how to enjoy a meal as a gathering (of family) and the street-food vendors of Southeast Asia taught me how to enjoy what you do.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE DISH?
Roast New Zealand lamb and veges or a coconut duck curry with sticky rice.
WHAT IS YOUR SECRET INGREDIENT?
HAVE YOU A GUILTY PLEASURE?
WHAT THREE NEW ZEALAND FOODS ARE TOP OF YOUR LIST?
Lamb, hapuka, fresh kina.
Peter Gordon Everyday
by Peter Gordon, photography by Manja Wachsmuth,
Harper Collins, $49.99