Helping his Grandmother and Aunties cook in their traditional Sri Lankan kitchen in Colombo is one of Peter’s first memories. It was the hub of the house and filled with laughter, gossip and much passionate debate over the cooking techniques of ancient family recipes.
After moving to Australia in 1974, Peter ended up accidently enrolling in ‘Home Science’ at school and was a natural. Not a keen advocate of the school system, at 15 Peter begged his father to be able to leave in Year 10 and start working. His Dad drove him to his local suburban restaurant and told him “you like cooking, go in that restaurant there and ask for a job then”. He started working there that very day.
He worked and trained in early Sydney icon ‘Rogues’ with Greg Doyle 1981-83. At the same time, he moonlighted at multiple venues – ‘Tony’s’, ‘Lamrock Café Bondi’, ‘Pegram’s’ with Mark Armstrong, ‘Turrets’ & ‘Reflections’ with Peter Doyle; finishing his apprenticeship at ‘Le Café’ & ‘Puligny’s’ with Greg Doyle.
He then took the usual Australian pilgrimage to London for 2 years gaining experience at ‘Gastronome One’, ‘Roue St Jacque’, ‘Shares’, ‘Stanton’s’ and ‘Le Gavroche’.
Back to Australia in 1986, Peter’s career path took him to ‘Blue Water Grill’ with Neil Perry, ‘Barrenjoey House’ & ‘Bilson’s’ with Michael McMahon in 1994. He then travelled to ‘Vatulele Island Fiji’ with Henry Crawford, opened his own restaurant with his wife Karen, ‘Avalon at Bondi’. Then he stepped into the opening executive chef’s role at ‘All Season’s Darling Harbour’ during the Sydney Olympics, followed by Executive Chef of ‘’Hayman Island Resort until 2003.