Est. chef Peter Doyle will retire from restaurant kitchens in June, capping arguably the most prized career in Sydney hospitality history.
The inaugural 1984 edition of The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide awarded just two restaurants its three chefs' hat accolade: Doyle's Reflections at Palm Beach was one.
Doyle hangs up his apron in eight weeks, after a 15-year run at the twin-hatted Est.
"I'm 66 in June, probably the time is right," he says in standard no-fuss Doyle speak.
Famously still on the pans at an age when chefs often put their names to restaurants while doing little of the hard yards, Doyle isn't aware of anyone older at the stove face of a top-shelf Sydney restaurant.
"No, they're all too smart," he quips. After Reflections, Doyle, alongside his wife Bev, opened some of the most influential restaurants of their day. Le Trianon, Cicada, then a pitstop at Celsius before joining the Merivale-owned Est.
Doyle, whose career nearly ended an hour into his first job when he made a deep cut in his hand prepping carrots, won't be lost to the industry.
While head chef Jacob Davey will take full responsibility for the Est. menu from July, Doyle, who has tutored a who's who of chefs – including Josh Niland, Jordon Toft and Sarah Knights – is going to head up a new apprenticeship program at Merivale.
"I'll be teaching them a couple of days a week," he says. Vale chef Doyle, hail dean Doyle.