Peter Gordon became synonymous with high end, creative fusion cooking in the 90s, and his reputation has only grown since then
“Fusion” cuisine: discuss. The very word actually sends a shiver down most foodies’ spines, but it’s a misnomer really. Cuisines have been fusioning down the centuries and no one gave a damn.
Then the 90s happened and fusion was a thing, where chefs would combine the rudiments of one or two cuisines and it would be a hybrid character that could define a restaurant – or indeed, a chef.
Peter Gordon was one of the first to be associated with fusion, even though I’ve no doubt he was tickled then horrified at the power of such a label. But it was in the 90s that his fresh, eclectic approach to food won a million admirers and spawned nearly as many imitators.
The Sugar Club in Notting Hill was his first kitchen and he created a legend on All Saints Road, a neighbourhood that not long before has been the playground of crack dealers and street prostitutes. TSC and PG set about breaking new ground with recipes that stunned diners at the thought: we remember one that featured blowfish.
Gordon’s cooking was the result of a New Zealand upbringing and an Australian culinary education that created a love of experimentation, of melding disparate flavours, and of producing fresh, vibrant food.
He left and set up The Providores in Marylebone High Street in 2001. The restaurant is like the man, understated, fascinating, creative and polished. Asian influences abound and each dish combines a dizzying number of elements. And it boasts the largest New Zealand wine offer this side of Oz.
Laksa of smoked Dutch eel, miso-baked aubergine, Scottish scallops with apricot puree, hazlenuts and enoki mushrooms, you get the picture. Exciting, tempting, and hugely intriguing.