A Day In The Life: Peter Woods

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Peter Woods, Executive Chef at Ace Hotel London in Shoreditch, was chosen to take part in July’s 2019 Chef Sessions Live event. We asked him to provide insight into a day in the life of a chef and about just a few of the fantastic things he’s achieved. 

Chef Peter Woods in action in the kitchen

What made you want to become a chef?

My father is a chef and he taught me a lot when I was younger. My nan entered me into a competition called Sainsbury’s Future Cooks where I had to submit a recipe (similar to Chef Sessions Live!). I sent it off and thought no more of it. Then I got a letter to say I had made it through to the regional finals! 

To cut a long story short, I won the regional final, went onto the grand final at the Savoy and I ended up coming third. On the back of that, I won a weeks work experience at the Savoy and accepted an apprenticeship on my first day there! So, at 16 I went to the Savoy and spent a very hard 5 years working my way through the kitchens and that’s where it all started for me.


Tell us about your career so far. What have been your biggest achievements?

I spent five years at the Savoy completing my apprenticeship with Anton Edelman, went on to work with Pierre Koffmann and Marco Pierre White before taking my first head chef role at 25 at a restaurant called Allium. 

My biggest achievements are being a William Hepstinal award winner and an Acorn award winner - to name but a few. And, of course, meeting my wife whilst at the Savoy and now having two amazing kids!


What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing chefs?

The industry is facing a massive skills shortage across the board with less younger people entering the profession due to the working conditions and shift patterns that unfortunately come with the job. People are now realising that the life of a chef is not a glamorous as the TV depicts!


Can you name one ingredient you love to cook with and one that you hate?

I love using potatoes. There are so many uses and different varieties to choose from mean that the possibilities are endless.

I hate using lavender - too strong and just unpleasant - keep it for making soap and away from food!


You’ve taken part in Chef Sessions Live. How did you find the day?

The day was great fun! It was good to use some of the CHEF® products and to showcase what they can be used for. The venue was great, the kitchen well equipped and everyone was very helpful and welcoming.

It was also great to work with and meet other chefs to understand what they do. I would highly recommend anyone to give it a go!


How have you found working with our CHEF products? Which is your favourite in the range and why?

I liked using the CHEF products as it’s always good to try new things. For me, the CHEF All Natural Stocks were the most versatile with good clean flavours and a range of uses in the workplace, and in the right environment something I would consider using.


Make sure you take a look at our interviews with other top chefs such as Federico Quaglia, Marcel Acostoaie and Steve Cummings for even more insight into a day in the life of a chef.

If you have a story to share and would like to feature in our ‘Day in the Life of a Chef’ series, please get in touch