Always play with your food. With a tagline like that, it’s no surprise that Chef Peter Collins and his team at Chef360 want to be everywhere there is food.
“From weddings to team functions, and everything in between, we want to play with food,” said Chef Peter. “We’ve done unique events, like battles of the bruschetta or brides and bourbons, instead of a traditional bridal shower. We get really unique in this new millennium way. Food is fun.”
Food is fun when Peter is dreaming up what to plate next in his fusion creative cuisine.
“For me food is endless. There is no reason why lasagna needs to be flat or why a marinara sauce needs to be on top of macaroni. What we should be looking at is that lasagna can be round and an Asian sauce, like hoisin, can go on an Italian noodle just as easily, giving you a different look, texture and flavor,” he said.
With the way food is moved across the globe today, there is no reason not be creative in Chef Peter’sopinion.
“There are all kinds of things we can have at our fingertips instantly, even if it is from, say, Iceland. I can have dragon fruit from the Philippines in two days. You can move food rapidly. It might be expensive, but we are crazy Americans who get what we want,” he described.
From the novice eater to the risk taker, all types of clients enjoy working with Chef360.
“We can do something simple, like grandma’s pasta recipe, or something fusion, like making your food visible from space with black lights and food coloring. Either way, we are going to be unique. The simple stuff is just as important as the mad scientist food,” he said.
Aside from the food, it’s the level of service that attracts and keeps their clients coming back.
“I consider us to be H squared, which is hospitably of the heart. I just exude hospitality. I am approachable and welcoming. I’m not your made for TV show chef that’s yelling and screaming for ratings,” he described when asked what made him different in the culinary field.
After 39 years in food service, Peter definitely knows how to stand out. The chef started working in grocery stores in high school and worked his way up to working at high end hotels, like Hyatt and Marriott.
“I’ve worked in everything from catering sales to event sales, all types of kitchens and city-wide events. Fed all kinds of presidents, governors and rock stars; pretty much any one you can think of,” he said. “That all came to a screeching halt after 9/11 when the travel and hospitably world quickly changed.”
His business was born in 2006 and has since grown into five separate companies, including the catering company, a venue, in-flight catering service, an educational lunch program and Chef360.exp, a 36-hour kitchen-to-table craft delivery service.
When you combine that extensive experience with the unique approach to food and hospitality, you know you’ve found a creative chef who can bring your food vision to life.
“I look at the whole picture, which is kind of dangerous for a chef. I always think about the shape and appearance of food first, whereas a chef ordinarily thinks about taste and texture first. I’m more concerned if it’s going to talk to the person from the plate,” he said.
His approach to styling things and his focus on the fundamental flavor profiles is how his food has become known for being eclectic and colorful. After all, the food should match the theme, whether that’s Alice and Wonderland or Great Gatsby.
A successful event starts with truly understanding the vision, of course.
“We want to make sure to deliver the most important things and stay away from the things that aren’t important. For example, if you tell me there should be nothing green, especially green beans, I will make sure there is not a green bean in this city,” he exclaimed. “We want to capture the styling of the event down to what we wear. Am I in shorts with a cool bistro apron or an all-white chef’s coat? I never want someone to walk in and say, ‘What are we doing about them.’”
That attention to detail made weddings a natural extension of the business. Especially with all of the emotions involved.
“I like the emotions of weddings. There are a couple of different ways to look at it. Chefs have emotion that we push into the preparation of the food and it’s styling. But we need to not take off our radar that there is emotion on the other side of the plate,” he said. “There is already emotion shared with us at weddings, love. Emotion drives a chef’s passion.”
So, it’s no surprise that the emotional parts of the day are Peter’s favorite.
“We work with the bride and groom, and their families, from tasting to styling. I love that moment on wedding day when I see them together or see the parts of the wedding coming together prior to the ceremony. I like to ask questions to find out if there is anything we can do for them. From bringing them water to giving the bride a big 36-inch Italian white napkin to tie around her neck so she can eat and drink,” he said.
But the icing on the cake? When Peter brings dinner out, personally, to the bride and groom.
“I insist on bringing a sous chef so I can personally deliver the bride and groom’s plate. It represents everything I stand for, great food and prompt service,” he said.
That approach is truly why Peter and his team can do anything which instantly puts couples at ease on wedding day when they hear his signature phrase, “Have no fear, culinary is here!”
Connect with Chef Peter and the Chef360 team instantly by clicking HERE.