When Vladimir Putin spent $17,000 at Quay and other memorable moments from Peter Gilmore's career

Gilmore's signature chocolate cake was created to celebrate his eighth anniversary at Quay.
Gilmore's signature chocolate cake was created to celebrate his eighth anniversary at Quay. Photo: Steven Siewert


When Peter Gilmore started down the road of becoming a chef at 16, he found himself cleaning prawns, deboning duck and arms-deep in a sink full of dirty dishes. It's unlikely he could have forecast the accolade-heavy career ahead of him.

The executive chef of Quay is the creative force behind a restaurant that has held three hats for 14 years straight, been named Restaurant of the Year four times in the Good Food Guide and he also was Chef of the Year in 2012 - not a bad way to mark his first decade at Quay. 

There was, of course, also the time Russian President Vladimir Putin came into Quay and spent $17,000 on the experience (which his party - impressively - paid in straight-up cash). Peter Gilmore describes that experience in the video above - as well as the time his snow egg dessert became a Masterchef sensation.

Peter Gilmore's career is filled with highlights.
Peter Gilmore's career is filled with highlights. Photo: Supplied

He also reflects on his eight-texture chocolate cake, which he upsized from its prior five-texture state to eight to celebrate his eighth anniversary at Quay. The dessert was recently named one of the 10 dishes that changed Sydney by our restaurant critic Terry Durack. 

You can also find the cake at his other venue, Bennelong, which was named Best New Restaurant in 2016's Good Food Awards and scored two hats in the Good Food Guide. There, it pays a wry tribute to its sister restaurant across Sydney's harbour - at Bennelong, the dessert is renamed as Chocolate Cake From Across The Water.