Chef Peter needs no introduction. Anyone who values authentic Goan food either has tasted chef Peter’s food or has heard about the fact that his place is the best to do so. Winner of many awards and accolades, this man who started his journey as a kitchen helper has come a long long way, but at heart he was, is and will always remain a true chef.
Tell us something about your journey.
In 1986 I finished my course in cookery and joined O’ Coqueiro. I started from scratch and worked as a kitchen helper at first. Within 6 months I was promoted to an assistant cook and then in 1989, I was made the head chef. I kept getting promotions, then in 2000 I moved to Bay 15 and worked there as the head chef. In 2016 I finally started my own kitchen and despite the hurdles and setbacks and even the Pandemic, I have no regrets. I am glad that I took the plunge and even if it’s been hard, it’s totally worth it.
When did you decide to become a chef?
When I was in school I used to help my mother in the kitchen and try my hand at cooking and whatever I made was really appreciated by everyone which motivated me to pursue cooking as a career.
What is your signature dish? What do people love about it?
My signature dish is chicken cafreal and in veg, it has to be veg xacuti, they are really appreciated by everyone. The best thing people love about it is that I cook it in a very authentic way.
What is your favourite dish and why?
My favourite dish is the traditional prawn curry or fish curry which I love preparing.
Name 3 kitchen tools you can’t do without.
Knife kitchen duster and spoon
What other chefs do you admire?
First and foremost it’s my mother, then my wife and Mr Gines Viegas from whom I learnt a lot at O’ Coqueiro.
What’s your favourite cuisine?
Without being biased, it is Goan.
How do you control the quality and consistency of dishes to ensure customer satisfaction?
I make limited quantities and use only fresh ingredients to ensure that the quality is maintained.
What is the uniqueness of Goa you admire?
I love the culture and tradition of Goa and I have tried to keep it alive by reviving some old forgotten recipes like the traditional stew and samarachi kodi that used to be served only during wedding ceremonies.
Which hotels or restaurants in Goa do you personally like visiting for a foodie indulgence?
I prefer visiting small and cosy restaurants which give a very homely vibe. One of my favourites is Shanta Durga in Porvorim, his bhaji pav is something I really enjoy.
When did you plan to start your own restaurant?
The belief of my customers in my food led me to think of opening up my own restaurant. When I shifted from O’Coqueiro to Bay 15, my customers would patronise me and travel up to 16km for my food. This is what encouraged and inspired me to use one of my properties to open my own kitchen.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
My focus for the future is not really on expanding or making a bigger place but to continue running this restaurant and keep serving Goa’s authentic food. It’s my dream for the world to see Chef Peter’s Kitchen as the most traditional and authentic Goan food restaurant.