Interview to Peter Gilmore, australian chef. Passion vs talent

Peter Gilmore passion vs talent, nature as inspiration. Peter is one of the first chefs in Australia to embrace heirloom varieties of vegetables, and continues to work in partnership with small and artesian producers.

by Antonella Iozzo

Peter Gilmore Executive Chef at two of Australia’s most exciting dining experiences. Bennelong at the Sydney Opera House and Quay across the harbour at Circular Quay.

For Peter, experimentation is the key to a originality and the Quay is Australia’s most awarded restaurant, and one of two Australian restaurants on the prestigious S. Pellegrino World’s Top 50 List.

It has three stars and has been awarded Restaurant of the Year three times in the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide. 

Peter Gilmore, why did you decide to become a chef?
I have been interested in cooking from a very young age, my mother is a great cook and was always entertained at home. I like the fact that you can bring people happiness through the food you create.


Is there a secret for the success of your restaurants?
I think the biggest thing is not resting on your laurels and reinventing the dishes and always concentrate on substance and quality over trends.


Where does your inspiration come from?
My garden and nature


Do you like to experiment or do you follow recipes?
Experimentation is the key to a originality


Peter Gilmore, what aspects do you consider most when creating the restaurant’s menu?
Always put yourself in the place of the diner and ask yourself would I enjoy this experience


Do you have a “signature dish” or favourite dish you enjoy cooking?
Smoked confit pig jowl, southern squid, shaved shiitake, sea cucumber crackling


When are you happiest at work?
When a new dish comes together, and everyone gets to experience it.


What’s your impression of the Australia food scene? And of MasterChef Australia?
The Australian food scene is stronger than ever before. Masterchef has been an international hit and I think it is because of the passion and genuineness  of the contestants  


Any advice you would give to someone wanting to become a chef?
Be prepared for hard work and be passionate


Peter Gilmore you have released two cookbooks, Quay: Food Inspired by Nature and Organum: nature, texture, intensity, purity. why, what was your goal?
The first cook book Quay I wanted to express the dishes of Quay and share them with a wider world. Australia is a long way away for a lot of people. With organum I really wanted to define and encapsulate my philosophy when it comes to cuisine.


Your third cookbook is due out in October 2018, what will be the topic?
Heirloom vegetables


The Quay Restaurant
Upper Level,
Overseas Passenger Terminal,
The Rocks, Sydney 2000


di Antonella Iozzo ©Riproduzione riservata

Photo credit: Nikki To


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