From Madonna to Mt Roskill

Central Leader - - News - By Janie Smith

Not many New Zealan­ders can claim see­ing pop star Madonna in her dress­ing gown, but it’s a sight chef Peter Chap­lin can count among his ex­pe­ri­ences while cook­ing for the rich and fa­mous.

Mr Chap­lin has brought his ex­ten­sive culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence to Mt Roskill, where he coowns and op­er­ates the Rock Cafe on Carr Rd.

He is also run­ning cook­ing classes to share some of his knowl­edge with the pub­lic.

Mr Chap­lin spent a num­ber of years work­ing in the mu­sic in­dus­try, cook­ing for the likes of the Thomp­son Twins, Madonna, Iggy Pop and Pre­tenders singer Chrissie Hynde, who be­came a per­sonal friend.

He says many of those he cooked for on tour were veg­e­tar­ian and he would get “passed on” to other per­form­ers need­ing meat-free ca­ter­ing.

“They all wanted to be healthy. It was the beginning of the change in the mu­sic in­dus­try, get­ting away from the sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.”

He says Madonna had the fit­ness level of an ath­lete and was a ve­gan when he cooked for her, forc­ing him to raise the bar in his cook­ing.

“It was very close to what I was eat­ing, so it wasn’t com­pletely out of my ball­park.”

He says the pop star was “re­ally straight­for­ward” and not pre­cious.

Feed­ing peo­ple on tour could be a chal­lenge and Mr Chap­lin would set up his por­ta­ble cooker and make food wher­ever there was space, some­times in tents or cor­ri­dors.

De­spite en­joy­ing his time in the mu­sic in­dus­try, he says mov­ing to New Zealand af­ter grow­ing up in the UK was the best thing that ever hap­pened to him.

He owned the veg­e­tar­ian restau­rant Mu­si­cal Knives in Pon­sonby, which he closed in 2003 to start a fam­ily, and when the op­por­tu­nity came up to start the Rock Cafe, he jumped at it.

He also plans to start do­ing a din­ner ser­vice on Fri­day nights with cui­sine sim­i­lar to what he made at Mu­si­cal Knives but with seafood.

The Cen­tral Leader has a voucher to Peter Chap­lin’s cook­ing school to give away. Visit www.rock­ for more de­tails.

To go into the draw to win the voucher, val­ued at $95, send your name, ad­dress and day­time phone num­ber on the back of an en­ve­lope to Rock Cafe Com­pe­ti­tion, Pri­vate Bag 56910, Do­min­ion Rd, Mt Eden, Auck­land, 1446.

Al­ter­na­tively you can email your en­try with Rock Cafe Com­pe­ti­tion in the sub­ject head­ing to

En­tries must be re­ceived by noon on Oc­to­ber 21.


Eat­ing fresh: Chef Peter Chap­lin is shar­ing his culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence at the Rock Cafe in Mt Roskill.

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