Chef Mark Peel of Campanile - Biography

Los Angeles , CA

November 2011

Born and raised in both Southern and Northern California, Mark Peel has been the Executive Chef of Campanile restaurant for over two decades.

By the time Peel was in high school, he had worked in a series of kitchen jobs which included a stint as a fry cook at Cindy's, a coffee shop which serviced a 24 hour freeway truckstop in San Gabriel Valley. He majored in history at the University of California at Santa Barbara before transferring to the hotel and restaurant department at California Polytechnic University at Pomona. While still in college, Peel wrangled a job peeling vegetables for Chef Wolfgang Puck at Ma Maison restaurant. As part of Ma Maison's informal apprenticeship program, Peel was sent to work at two French three-star restaurants, La Tour d'Argents and Moulinde Mougins. Peel was also sous chef at Michael's restaurant in Santa Monica when he met his future wife, pastry chef Nancy Silverton.

Before opening Spago in 1982 as head chef under Wolfgang Puck, a position he held for 3 1/2 years, Peels spent a year working at the celebrated Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. In 1985, he and Silverton put in six months revamping Maxwell's Plum in New York. In June of 1989, he opened Campanile restaurant.

Peel and Silverton co-authored their cookbook: Mark Peel and Nancy Silverton At Home: Two Chefs Cook for Family and Friends. They have currently completed work on another cookbook together, The Food of Campanile, published by Villard. The couple have three children, Vanessa, Benjamin and Oliver.