It is with great sadness that I post this message about the sad and sudden passing of a wonderful, gifted man, David Peake. Best known in event circles as one of Vancouver’s most loved caterers , david was a kind, creative and passionate man whom I had the pleasure of working with many times over the past 15 years. It is a tragic loss and our hearts and condolences go out to his family and colleagues.
David’s global catering career began more than three decades ago in the formal European Apprenticeship Program at the Capital Hotel on Basil Street in Knightsbridge, London UK at the young age of 16. This demanding and thorough study program was operated under the direction of Chef Richard Shepherd. Though the mid 70’s David worked as a trainee at the world famous Dorchester Hotel located on Park Lane in London. There he worked under both Anton Mossiman and Eugene Kaufler in a kitchen brigade of 170 chefs.
David’s devotion to producing the exceptional did not go unnoticed. In 1978 he was appointed Head Chef at Bewick’s Restaurant in Knightsbridge. Under his watchful eye, the restaurant was awarded a prestigious Michelin Single Star rating for fine dining and food preparation.
In the early 80’s David was appointed Executive Chef for the Glitter Bay Resort in Barbados. Six months after opening, Glitter Bay was voted into the top 10 resorts worldwide. He then became Executive Chef at the Sheraton’s elegant Mullet Bay Resort in St. Maarten. His responsibilities included overseeing ten restaurants, a 500 seat banquet facility and a kitchen staff of 190.
In 1985 and through to late 1987, David was Executive Chef for Kanke Restaurants Ltd, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. This Company owned a number of restaurants that came under David’s supervision.
In late 1987 David took the plunge and opened up his own 300 seat restaurant called Dempsey’s in Vancouver’s downtown Pacific Centre. With this enterprise enjoying growing success, David turned his attention to another facet of the food & beverage business – delis.
In 1990 he opened up a chain of five delis. Each location provided a wide and popular assortment of local favourites. David attributed his opening of Peake of Catering to his experience of managing the deli operations.
Today, Peake of Catering is one of Vancouver’s largest and most successful off-premise catering organizations. David’s passion for perfection and unsurpassed creativity are firmly entrenched throughout his entire team. His leadership within the firm earned him a team of devoted employees who take pride in their work and are also committed to excellence. This devotion and team atmosphere are the reason for Peake of Catering’s success.
With 15 full time employees and up to 105 part-time employees, The Peake of Catering organization continues to serve a growing and diverse marketplace.
In 2001 David was nominated for the Caterer of the Year at the Spotlight Awards hosted by Event Solutions in St Louis. Although David did not win the prestigious award it marked the first time a Canadian had been nominated and made the list of four finalists. One of David’s culinary creations won first prize for “Best Food Presentation” at the 2nd Annual National Canadian Event Industry Awards. In 2010 Peake of Catering has been named a finalist in the Spotlight Awards as Supplier of the Year with results to be announced in February 2011.
David continued to be a sought after consultant and guest speaker with education institutions and was a frequent guest with popular television programs that feature an entertaining presentation of great food.
In 2007 David launched a DVD series “Catering for Caterers” that continues to gain momentum in North America as caterers recognize the value of this informative series. David’s charisma and tongue-in-cheek personality make the learning fun and entertaining.
Most recently, David and the Peake of Catering team were thrilled to be a part of the success of the 2010 Olympics and Paralympics when Peake of Catering was awarded a food service contract for a 2010 Winter Games competition venue. In addition, throughout the games, Peake of Catering enjoyed producing events for many dignitaries, royalty, government, military and various corporations.
Numerous charitites were also touched by David’s generousity throughout his career.
Through his busy life David was a dedicated husband to his childhood love and father to his four children. His achievements in life, on all levels, were exceptional.