After spending most of his life travelling and working in different countries, Peter studied economics before discovering his true passion for food. He trained at the Institute of Culinary Arts in Stellenbosch in 1996 and was awarded a bursary to study at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. His first chef position was at Grande Roche Hotel under the late Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef Frank Zlomke, before relocating to London’s Quo Vadis with Marco Pierre White for a year. From there he spent two years in Hambleton Hall, his first Michelin starred restaurant, before moving back to London to work at Zafferano. Before returning to South Africa in 2006, Peter took up the position of Executive Chef at Automat in Mayfair which quickly became one of the coolest places to eat in London, garnering awards such as Top Table in London before being nominated for Restaurant of the Year in 2005 by Harpers and Queens Restaurants Awards.
Back in SA, Peter took over as Executive Chef at the Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate in Franschhoek, winning the Sunday Times Chef of the Year in 2007. In 2008 he accepted the position to oversee the 5 Relais & Châteaux restaurants within The Collection by Liz McGrath, a position he still holds and one in which he’s won a slew of awards. In November 2011 Peter was given the title of Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef at the association’s annual congress. Just after receiving this honour, The Greenhouse restaurant, under Peter’s guidance, was voted as South Africa’s number one restaurant in the Eat Out Top 10 Awards as well as Restaurant of the Year.
Salmon Trout Seared in Hot Hazelnut Oil
2 salmon trout sides
50g pepper corns
1 bulb fennel
6 star anise
Blend the whole limes, fennel peppercorns and star anise until smooth. If it requires liquid to blend add a little vegetable oil. Transfer to a bowl and mix with sugar and salt to form a thick paste. Pack the paste onto the salmon trout and cure for 5 hours. Take the fish out of the cure and wash well under cold running water. Drain the salt mixture and hold for future use, this can be used for up to 3 more cures. Slice the salmon trout into 3 mm slices and place on a tray. Heat hazelnut oil to smoking temperature and spoon the hot oil over the fish to lightly cook it and warm it through. Transfer to a plate and spoon a little of the cooled oil over the fish and other garnishes, serve immediately.
200g cured salmon trout trimmings
Place salmon in a pan and slowly start cooking it over a low while continuing to stir. Cook out until it is dry, crumbly and crunchy. Cool and store in an airtight container.
Place a whole celeriac in a piece of tin foil and bake until just cooked. Cool, peel and slice thinly. Serve at once.
Pickling cucumber solution
100ml sherry vinegar
10 coriander seeds
2 star anise
Boil together and cool. Slice cucumber thinly and soak in pickle for 10 to 20 minutes. Drain and serve.
1 small celeriac
20ml whole grain mustard
Slice celeriac into thin julienne, blanch in boiling water for 20 seconds and refresh in ice water. Squeeze out excess moisture and fold through the mustard, lemon juice, chives and salt. Reserve until needed.
30ml sherry vinegar
50ml canola oil
30ml hazelnut oil
5ml Dijon mustard
50g roasted hazelnuts, chopped
2ml chopped chives
Combine all the ingredients.
Garnish the plate with all the ingredients and drizzle with the hazelnut oil, lemon marmalade and wild herbs and nasturtium leaves.
*Article from The Culinary Artist Issue 2