From Madonna to Mt Roskill
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.rockcafe.co.nz 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.