Mark Peel, a longtime LA chef and co-founder of Campanile and La Brea Bakery, died at this time on the age of 66 after a short battle with most cancers. One in every of its most influential cooks and a longtime fixture of town’s restaurant scene, Peel helped set up Los Angeles as a premier eating vacation spot within the Nineties and into the 2010s.
Peel started working at Ma Maison beneath Wolfgang Puck in 1975 earlier than becoming a member of Ken Frank and Jonathan Waxman because the opening staff at Michael’s in Santa Monica in 1979. Peel labored with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse earlier than changing into the chef de delicacies of Spago in 1981.
Peel’s most lasting legacy comes from Campanile, which he co-founded along with his then-wife Nancy Silverton in 1989. Campanile was a definitive instance of California delicacies, which the late critic LA Occasions critic Jonathan Gold hailed as one among LA’s greatest eating places. A couple of months earlier than opening Campanile, Peel and Silverton opened La Brea Bakery towards the entrance of the restaurant, which ultimately grew to one of the vital well-known artisan bakeries within the U.S. Gold known as Peel the “most exacting grill chef within the nation, a grasp who performs his smoldering logs the best way Pinchas Zukerman does a Stradivarius” in a 2012 ode to the restaurant, which closed in 2013 to make method for République.
Gold additionally stated it was “arduous to overstate Campanile’s contributions to American cooking. It wasn’t the primary fantastic restaurant within the county to function with a grill at its coronary heart, however it codified the model…with first-rate elements and chefly virtuosity.” These influences are nonetheless seen at this time, with eating places like Charcoal, Angler, Chi Spacca, Gwen, Rossoblu, and quite a few others adopting open-fire grilling that Campanile helped popularize. Campanile alumni embody Sine Qua Non vineyard proprietor and winemaker Manfred Krankl, James Beard Conscious winner Dahlia Narvaez of Mozza, Suzanne Tracht of Jar, Sumi Chang of Euro Pane, Matt Molina of Hippo, Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barnes, and Govind Armstrong of 8 Oz. Burger Bar.
Most lately Peel had operated Prawn at Downtown LA’s Grand Central Market, which initially opened as Bomba in 2015 earlier than switching to Prawn. The fish market and seafood restaurant wasn’t a vital darling however continues to serve dependable fare like Seattle fish stew and fish and chips. Previous to Prawn, Peel had operated supper club-style restaurant the Tar Pit on La Brea Avenue from 2010 to 2012.
Over time Peel participated in High Chef Masters twice as a contestant, and ultimately a daily fixture on meals reveals reminiscent of Knife Battle and Hell’s Kitchen. A 2013 profile within the New York Occasions detailed the bodily toll working within the kitchen for many years took on Peel’s physique, together with varied accidents reminiscent of bone spurs, hernias, and power sore again.
Concerning his passing, Peel’s household provided the next assertion: “He was a husband, companion, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle with a lot pleasure and aplomb. We’ll miss him and his cooking with all our hearts (and stomachs).”

Join the

e-newsletter

Eater LA

Join our e-newsletter.

624 South La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036