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Peter Tempelhoff - Group Executive Chef

In January 2008, award winning chef, Peter Tempelhoff was appointed Executive Chef for The Collection by Liz McGrath. He oversees all five restaurants within the three hotels. His vision for The Collection is to guide all the kitchens to new heights and empower all five of the executive chefs to star status through their own abilities.

“I am most excited about Peter joining our team. I think he has so much to offer our restaurants. With his international experience, I have no doubt he is going to help us achieve even greater heights than we are already at” says Liz McGrath.

Profile

Peter studied economics at University before discovering that his true passion was cooking. He trained at the ‘Institute of Culinary Arts’ in Stellenbosch in 1996 with Letitia Prinsloo, graduating top of his class and was awarded a bursary to study at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America.

His first chef job at Grande Roche Hotel in Paarl and with all the experience gained he relocated to London and was offered a job at Quo Vadis with Marco Pierre White, considered to be one of the greatest chefs in London at that time. During his two years at Quo Vadis he learned the importance of speed and precision during service. From there he worked in his first Michelin restaurant with his long time mentor and friend Aaron Patterson of Hambleton Hall. There his talent was fine-tuned to understand the importance of flavour combinations and the balance of taste receptors such as acidity, bitterness and sweetness.

With the skills and experience he had gained he went to work in an historical restaurant in Cambridge with 2 Michelin starred chef, Spencer Patrick. Their food emphasis was French with a modern twist and the 7 Course Food and Wine evenings were met with rave reviews.

After 15 months working on an ‘Aga’ (country kitchen stove) he returned to London to work as assistant Head Chef at La Rascasse Restaurant, sister of the Grand Prix circuit restaurant in Monaco. Here Peter learned about the operational running of a large kitchen and the finer details of people management.

His next position was at Zafferano Restaurant (1 star Michelin) owned by Giorgio Locatelli. Here his fondness for rustic Italian cuisine grew along with his appreciation of the Italians’ passion for their food. Now armed with an incredible amount of expertise in the restaurant industry, he was offered the position of Executive Chef at Automat in Mayfair, London. It gained instant applause and reputation with industry, media and the public as being one of the coolest places to eat in London, with some of the simplest yet finest food. Awards soon followed such as ‘Top Table in London in 2005’ and nominated for ‘Restaurant of the Year 2005 by Harpers and Queens Restaurant Awards’.

After the birth of his first child Jason, he and his wife Angela decided it was time to head back to his spiritual home where it all began - the fairest Cape in October 2006 where he worked full time at the award winning Grande Provence Estate in Franschhoek. Working alongside a dedicated kitchen, he achieved the sought after title of Sunday Times Chef of the Year 2007, Franschhoek Life Chef of 2007 and also elevated The Restaurant to Eat Out Top 10 Restaurants in South Africa, nestling comfortably into 5th spot.

In January 2008 Peter was appointed Executive Chef for The Collection by Liz McGrath where he has strived to take all 5 restaurants to new heights!

Most recently Peter spent time in Japan to set up a cultural exchange program between the 2 countries. He worked in two Relais & Chateaux properties with the intention of opening relations between Relais & Chateaux properties across the world.

Hotel de Mikuni is the only Relais & Chateaux hotel in Tokyo and is owned by one of the most renowned chefs in Tokyo. He personally be escorted Peter to the world famous fish market and some favourite local restaurants. After a week at Mikuni Peter spent a few days at the Grand Restaurant owned by Joel Robuchon. “I have returned home with lots of new ideas, techniques and inspiration which I hope to share with all the chefs within The Collection by Liz McGrath” say Peter Tempelhoff.
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