Mark Peel is regarded as a founder of California cuisine. He started cooking in the '70's and has mentored many chefs who became culinary stars in their own right. While his career has been centered in fine dining, in 2015 Chef Peel opened Bombo (now Prawn), his first fast casual eatery, in downtown Los Angeles' historic Grand Central Market. There, he fires up steel jacketed steam kettles to create fine-fast dishes steeped in rich, complex broths.
A fourth generation Angeleno, Chef Peel was mentored by Wolfgang Puck at Ma Maison, and Alice Waters at Chez Panisse. He was tapped by Puck to be his opening chef at Spago.
Chef Peel went on to create, co-own and serve as executive chef for the award-winning Campanile restaurant for more than 23 years. A landmark restaurant in Los Angeles, Campanile’s closure was met with prodigious tributes. In 2009, the same year Campanile celebrated its 20th anniversary, Peel's book, New Classic Family Dinners, was published by John Wiley and Sons. The book was selected as a top ten cookbook of 2009 by Amazon and one of the top 25 cookbooks of 2009 by Food and Wine.
Just before opening Campanile, Chef Peel co-founded La Brea Bakery. Now a worldwide company, Peel and Nancy Silverton sold it in 2001.
Peel opened The Tar Pit, which combined his passion for market fresh food with the excitement of artisan cocktails. Having been on the forefront of featuring seasonal, fresh ingredients in his culinary dishes, Chef Peel now extended the same ethos to cocktails.
Chef Peel began his career working with Wolfgang Puck at Ma Maison. He worked in France at La Tour d'Argent and Le Moulin de Mougins, then came back to California to work at Michaels and Chez Panisse. He helped open Chinois and Spago Tokyo, and was executive chef at Maxwell's Plum in New York before opening Campanile.
Peel's frequent television appearances have included: Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay, Hell's Kitchen, Knife Fight, Top Chef, Top Chef: Masters, and Top Chef: Just Desserts. He co-authored two cookbooks with Nancy Silverton: Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton At Home: Two Chefs Cook for Family and Friends, and The Food of Campanile. He contributed to The Gamble House Cookbook.
Mark Peel has five children and is married to TV host, comedienne and blogger Daphne Brogdon.