Mark Peel, one of Los Angeles’ most influential and celebrated chefs, has died of cancer at the age of 66.
Peel was a key figure in shaping modern California cuisine, contributing his talents to kitchens at Ma Maison and Michael’s, before helping make Los Angeles a viable dining destination by helping Wolfgang Puck open Spago in 1982.
However, opening Campanile and La Brea Baking Company with ex-wife and acclaimed chef, Nancy Silverton, became Peel’s most enduring contribution to Los Angeles’ dining renaissance. And within such concepts and contributions we can credit him for transforming restaurant dining as a whole, from the farm to table format, to even the urban rustic aesthetic, to pop-up restaurants within a restaurant.
“Food is not a static thing. It is an ephemeral moment. So the only thing that remains is your memory of it,” he once told me on an episode of Taste the Details that highlighted his restaurant Prawn.
And thanks to Chef Mark Peel’s trailblazing ways, many of us will live on with many tremendous food memories tied to his outstanding contributions to food and dining.