Executive chef, JW Marriott
Originally graduating with a degree in economics from the University of Queensland in Australia, Peter Smith wanted to pursue a career in finance; when this did not satisfy his creative edge, he moved to the culinary arts.
After attending Windermere Culinary College and receiving his culinary degree, Smith worked at Bathers Pavilion Restaurant in Sydney under the direction of Chef Serge Dansereau, one of Australia’s premier chefs.
Once he concluded his four-year apprenticeship, Smith was given the opportunity to travel and in London. Traveling all over Europe he fine-tuned his culinary repertoire, learning from the best chefs in the country. After traveling in Europe, Smith was once again given a great opportunity to move; this time he ventured to Southeast Asia, concentrating on the cuisine of Bangkok. Learning the local dishes and techniques allowed him to further develop his culinary range.
Smith made the decision to relocate to Vancouver, Canada, when presented with the opportunity to work at the Renaissance Harbourside Hotel. He took full advantage of the local food competitions, winning gold medals in the British Columbia Chefs Association Culinary Competition in 2005 and back-to-back medals in Grand Culinary Salon in 2005, 2006, and 2007.
In 2007, he moved to the United States and worked at some of Marriott’s premier resorts in Southern California and Texas. He took part in the much-anticipated launch of JW Marriott Hill Country Resort & Spa in Texas, where he was awarded the JW Marriott International Rising Star Chef of 2010. During his tenure there, Smith was a top five finalist for Best Chef in Texas by GO TEXAN 20.
He also won the San Antonio Iron Chef Challenge in 2011.
In December 2011, Smith relocated to Sonoma, California, to be the executive chef. He was awarded grand champion titles two years in a row at the California Artisan Cheese Chef’s Grand Tasting event in 2012 and 2013.
In 2014, Smith jumped at the opportunity to flex his culinary creativity on a global level and accepted a position as the director of culinary for global operations at Marriott headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. In this role, he oversees the design and development of the culinary offerings for Marriott’s many new brands.
In 2017, Smith accepted the position as executive chef at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert California. In his new role, he oversees 11 food service areas and has in excess of 160 people reporting to him. Most recently, he opened a new dining concept called T&T Innovation Kitchen, where he and his chefs really stretch their culinary creativity using the season’s best ingredients and incredibly inventive techniques.
Apart from his busy schedule on property, Smith loves the camera and has appeared on many local and national television shows. Most recently, he filmed Breaking Bread, appeared on Food Network’s Guys Grocery Games, and will be on the next season of Hell’s Kitchen.