The Executive Chef of The Everglades Club in Palm Beach, Fla., leaves behind a legacy as a culinary mentor from his 40-year career. He was scheduled to present at the 2015 Chef to Chef Conference.
Peter Timmins, CMC, Executive Chef at The Everglades Club in Palm Beach, Fla., was found dead in an apartment in West Palm Beach, Fla., on October 28. He was 57.
Police have not released a cause of death or said whether foul play is suspected, the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported.
Chef Timmins was scheduled to present at Club & Resort Business‘ 2015 Chef to Chef Conference in Savannah, Ga., March 1-3, 2015, to demonstrate Safe and Effective Sous Vide Cooking Techniques for All Occasions. “Chef Timmins will be sorely missed,” said Jerry Schreck, Executive Chef of Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa., and the National Program Coordinator for the Chef to Chef Conference, upon learning of Timmins’ death. “He touched an astounding number of cooks’ careers and was actively involved in so many organizations to help develop culinary talent.
“So many of the top chefs in America came from The Greenbrier Culinary Internship Program during his tenure,” Schreck added. “Club chefs will not soon forget the awesome displays of food and educational programs at The Club Chefs Institute conferences that he coordinated while he was at The Greenbrier. Peter was a great man and an entertaining and funny, amazing chef.”
The 2015 Chef to Chef Conference will include a tribute to Timmins, in recognition of his many contributions to culinary education and development within the club industry.
Before arriving at The Everglades Club in 2013, Timmins served as Executive Chef of The Gasparilla Inn and Club in Boca Grande, Fla., from 2009-2012, and prior to that as Executive Chef at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. In 2002, he was awarded the distinction of Certified Master Chef, the highest and most demanding level of achievement of all American Culinary Federation certifications, and he was one of only 60 chefs in the world who had earned the coveted title.
“I am shocked as anyone about what happened,” said Carleton Varney, a decorator and designer at The Greenbrier. “This is a tragedy for his children and Peter was a man who very much loved his children.”
Varney, who helped Timmins re-design a number of restaurants at the resort property, said he remembered Timmins’ passion for cooking. There were seven restaurants at The Greenbrier and Timmins oversaw each one, the Post reported.
“Peter was very energetic,” Varney said. “He was very jolly and a nice guy. And, I can tell you, he was very talented. Peter had a passion for food and preparation and creating a different kind of cuisine.”
Timmins grew up in Ireland and started his career at 17 at the Royal Hibernian Hotel in Dublin under master chef Roger Nobel. He went to culinary school at St. Mary’s College in Dublin.
Varney recalled eating at the Hemisphere Club at The Greenbrier, which ultimately failed, but showcased Timmins’ unique cooking style, the Post reported.
“It was not successful because it was a bit far out,” Varney said. “People didn’t understand his food. I think it was more oriented to a palate for someone in New York City, somebody with an experimental palate. But he could do the more simple things equally well. I remember going to his home for dinner and he cooked a perfectly basic steak dinner.”
Rick Tramonto, author and former Executive Chef for Chicago’s four-star restaurant Tru, posted a photo to his Twitter account and wrote, “Chef Peter Timmins we love you and RIP my friend you will be missed.”
Steven Halliday, Executive Sous Chef at The Greenbrier, was an apprentice under Timmins. On his Facebook page, Halliday changed his profile picture to one of Timmins and posted a status update on Monday, Oct. 27 that read: “Speechless… For so many reasons!! But allow me to say for so many culinarians [that] lost their mentor today. RIP Chef Peter Timmins CMC.”