Being badly burned by hot fat left him scarred and a target for bullies as a youngster, but it never deterred Peter Gordon from becoming a chef who has forged an international reputation.
He was brought up in Castlecliff, attending the local primary school and then going to Whanganui High School in the late 1970s.
After leaving school, Gordon moved to Melbourne where he completed his apprenticeship and was exposed to exotic ingredients from around the world.
Now living in London, where he has his famous Sugar Club restaurant with branches in New Zealand, Australia and Istanbul, Gordon gets back to his home town as often as he can.
Arguably New Zealand's best known chef, he became known as "the father of fusion cuisine" after pioneering the blend of Eastern and Western cuisine styles in the 80s.
In 2004, he founded his signature NZ restaurant, dine by Peter Gordon, at Auckland's SkyCity Grand hotel, following up with Bellota Tapas Bar - an authentic, non-fusion modern Spanish tapas bar - in 2006.
He owns another restaurant in Istanbul, and consults as executive chef to a string of international restaurants that share a common gastronomic belief in good food and a love of beautifully crafted Antipodean wine.
Gordon's also acted as a menu consultant for Air New Zealand for 15 years.
Dining out is about memorable moments and he believes that New Zealand has the ability to deliver great experiences: "A paua cooked just so, drizzled with some lemon-scented extra virgin olive oil and topped with a little mashed kumara will make you feel good, both physically and emotionally."
He has produced several cookbooks, including Cook At Home with Peter Gordon, Salads - The New Main Course, and Vegetables: The New Food Heroes.
Charity work is another passion, and he has become renowned for glittering gastronomic events in both the UK and NZ that raise funds for leukaemia patients.
In 1999, he was the first to receive the New Zealander Of The Year award from The New Zealand Society in London. In the 2009 New Year Honours was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the food industry.