Having spent much of his childhood holidays in his native Italy, Peter Fiori’s culinary style is underpinned by the traditional Italian ethos: use good quality, seasonal products to create simple, flavourful classic dishes which stand the test of time.
“I spent a lot of time helping to grow our own produce, helped mum make pasta, bread, polenta, all by hand. It’s the foundation of my love affair with food… I was destined to work in the food industry.”
In 2002 he accepted the position of Head Chef to Coutts bank, renowned for its focus on client service and excellence. Peter saw the opportunity to place his passion for quality ingredients at the heart of his menus, and to innovate in the production of those ingredients.
So, how did the chef that’s worked in some of the most acclaimed kitchens in the restaurant world do that? He reached for the sky.
In 400 metres of outdoor corridors, the Skyline Garden produces an amzing variety of edible produce, from wasabi to guava, Sichuan peppers to ice lettuce.
“In the 8 years it’s been open, we’ve grown roughly 18,000 plants, herbs, fruits and vegetables for my chefs to pick at their leisure. Here at Coutts we’ve proved we can create this amazing urban rooftop garden, and I would like to see hundreds more rooftop gardens across central London, it would have a massive positive impact on pollution.”
Peter has maintained his childhood love for gardening and growing fresh ingredients which goes hand in hand with sustainability and seasonality. His vision of the Skyline Garden supports Coutt’s fine dining & service ethos whilst playing an important role in the company’s effort to be a sustainable business. Four years ago Peter also invested in an Evogro plant growing system, as a complement to the Skyline Garden. The Skyline’s output is strictly seasonal so the indoor Evogro system, with LED lighting and hydroponics, enables production of microgreens, herbs and salad leaves for the kitchen all year round. It is also used for producing particularly tender or pest-prone crops that benefit from the protected environment, and for producing strong and sturdy seedlings that can later be planted out in the garden.
“The quicker we can harvest and serve the food, the better. It allows us to keep the food’s nutrients and colours, and we get more vibrant dishes as a result. I’ve been working with Evogro for four years. It’s a fabulous service, super produce and an incredible innovation!”
Peter’s vision and ethos makes him an inspirational chef and gardener who has fused his passion for food and growing into this unique experience.