New Zealand chef: Peter Gordon

Kiwi celebrity chef Peter Gordon - based in New Zealand and the UK - works with a string of critically acclaimed restaurants around the globe, including his new The Sugar Club in Auckland and the famed The Providores and Tapa Room in London.

Arguably New Zealand’s best known chef, Peter Gordon became known as ‘the father of fusion cuisine’ after pioneering the blend of Eastern and Western cuisine styles in the eighties.

Gordon, who is of Māori descent and hails from Wanganui on the North Island’s west coast, has lived in London for the past 20 years but makes regular trips back to New Zealand.

Wellington – Melbourne – London – Auckland

As a young chef, Peter Gordon worked in Melbourne and the East before moving back to New Zealand to set up the original ‘Sugar Club’ restaurant in Wellington – New Zealand’s capital – in 1986.

Already a celebrated chef in his homeland, Gordon established The Providores and Tapa Room Restaurant in Marylebone High Street in 2001. More recently, he opened Kopapa in Covent Garden.

In 2004, he founded his signature New Zealand 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.

Peter Gordon has also acted as a menu consultant for Air New Zealand for 15 years.

The Sugar Club, Auckland

The Sugar Club – perched on the 53rd floor of Auckland’s iconic Sky Tower with 360-degree views over Auckland – is Peter Gordon’s latest project.

Gordon describes The Sugar Club – styled on 1930s Art Deco Italy – as a blast from the past “harking back to the 80s menus” of his original establishment in downtown Wellington’s red light district – a revelation on the local dining scene as he “mixed and matched” Asian and European flavours and ingredients as never before.

Over the years, Gordon says his food has evolved, incorporating flavours from around the world. The Sugar Club’s  mini degustation style menu features top New Zealand ingredients and produce from Otago saffron to golden kumara, hapuka (groper), merino lamb, tamarillo and manuka honey.

Dining out is about memorable moments and Peter Gordon believes that New Zealand has the ability to deliver great experiences: "A native paua (abalone) cooked just so, drizzled with some lemon-scented extra virgin olive oil and topped with a little mashed kumara (sweet potato) will make you feel good, both physically and emotionally."

Cook books and chutneys

Peter Gordon has also produced several cookbooks, including Cook At Home with Peter Gordon, Salads - The New Main Course, and Vegetables: The New Food Heroes.

Gordon is not only an author - he writes every word in his books - but also food stylist and home economist. He gives cooking demonstrations, appears regularly on food TV shows in the UK and abroad, teaches at cooking schools and is involved in international food festivals.

He develops recipes and is working on the creation of a range of gourmet pies, and produces his own brand of chutneys and dressings. He co-owns the lauded North Otago vineyard Waitaki Braids, in New Zealand’s South Island.

Charity work is another passion, and Peter Gordon has become renowned for glittering gastronomic events in both the UK and New Zealand raising a significant amount of money for leukaemia patients.