PeterWhat are your favourite Sabato ingredients? I love your range of charcuterie and cheeses - it allows New Zealand chefs and producers to see what quality level is offshore and allows people to aspire to.

What's your favourite thing to cook? Roast chicken and potatoes, tomato avocado salsa and minted peas. Well, that's what I've been doing in London this summer anyway.

Where have you traveled that has inspired you the most? In recent years it would have to be Japan. I've been cooking with Japanese ingredients for years, but going there and seeing their dedication to tradition was inspiring.

What's the best thing about NZ food? The kai moana - we have flavours that just don't don't exist elsewhere. Our meats and veggies can stand up to the rest of the world easily, but the fish and shellfish are spectacular.

What's your ultimate comfort food? Cheese on toast!

Best advice for someone wanting to get into a kitchen? It's hard work, and you need to have a real passion - not just a love of food. To create food you need to understand it well, what combinations go together, why classics are 'classic' and fool-proof; be inquisitive and love eating. It all sounds simple enough but I've met many chefs who don't like food and you can always tell.

What's your guilty pleasure, food-wise? It ranges from a Kit-Kat to a love of all things baked (white chocolate and raspberry muffins) and anything with chocolate.

Sweet or savoury? I'm borderline - but I definitely have a sweet tooth.

Favourite drink? Pinot Noir.

How has your cooking style evolved over the years? The more I travel and taste, the more I get inspired. I wondered whether I'd become more simplified in my approach but I don't think I have.

If you could cook a meal for anyone, who would it be and what would you cook? My Gran - Molly Gordon. She lived to be 97 but never saw me cooking like I do. I'd serve her a 6 course tasting menu.

If you weren't a chef what would you be doing? A potter or I'd work with wood.

What's your signature dish? I don,'t think I have one at the moment - there's always lots of change going on in my head.

Favourite tool of the trade? Food processor.

What's your favourite seasonal produce? Quince in autumn.

Three words that sum up your cooking style? Inventive flavour combinations.


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New Zealand restaurants

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