QUAY Food Inspired By Nature – Peter Gilmore

A book review by Franz Scheurer


Peter Gilmore is one of Australia’s most successful chefs and his food easily recognized. Although a culinary hero in Australia he remains strangely unknown abroad, something that will hopefully change in the future and a foreword by Thomas Keller from French Laundry-fame certainly will help. His book, QUAY is not only substantial and ‘no holds barred’ it’s also beautiful. Superb design, first class photography (by Anson Smart) and excellent printing and finishing does Peter’s craft justice and even if you find the recipes hard to reproduce at home this doubles as a beautiful coffee table book.


Peter Gilmore probably explains it best: “I am inspired by nature and have coined the term nature-based cuisine to describe my food. Nature offers us so much diversity – a natural elegance and beauty – and it is the organic nature of food, its textures and flavours that is at the heart of my cooking”.


Peter Gilmore technique is so finely honed you can cut yourself and he is one of the few chefs that understand not only flavour but also texture. The Chinese have understood the importance of texture for thousands of years but it is only in maybe the last 20 years that some Western chefs start to understand their importance.


The book is segmented into:

The Garden

The Land

The Sea



with basic recipes and a glossary at the back. Wether you read this book, simply look at the stunning photographs or actually cook one of the extensive and complete recipes you can’t help but wonder how Gilmore ever found the time to write something this intricate. It really is a ‘picture of his soul’ and at once inspiring and touching.


His signature dishes of the ‘Sea Pearls’ and the ‘Eight-textured Chocolate Cake’ are there of course and the first recipe that grabs my attention is the ‘White Asparagus with Comte-infused Milk Curd, roasted Nuts and Herb Flowers’. So deceptively simple…

Being an incurable carnivore I love his ’12-hour Slow-braised Milk-fed Lamb Shoulder’ and I know just how good the ‘Masterstock Chicken with Jellyfish, Scallop, Eggplant and Lily Bud salad’ is.


This book is both culinary history and a glimpse into our gastronomic future.

Get it!


Published by Murdoch Books

RRP $ 95.00

ISBN 978-1741964875