Chef Peter Timmins, CMC, Dies at 57

By | October 29th, 2014

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.”

16 Responses to Chef Peter Timmins, CMC, Dies at 57

  1. Brendan Casey says:

    I got to know Peter and Isolda when he started working as a chef in the Government’s Welfare Department in Dublin almost 35 years ago. He was special and all of us knew that his talent would bring him to the very top of his profession. I will miss him greatly. Brendan Casey

    • Dr. Joseph Hegarty says:

      What a shock! I knew Peter as a student at St Mary’s when I was Head of Culinary Department. I know his teachers and colleagues will miss this gentle culinary giant as I do. Why do the good die young?

  2. David Browne says:

    I had the pleasure to meet Chef Timmins at the Greenbrier Resort. You will be missed Chef. Rest in peace.

  3. laura hewitt says:

    I was fortunate enough to meet this wonderful man at the BICC resort in County Cavan Ireland in 1991. I studied there under Chef Peter Timmins and have always held dear the memories of this special and most talented man. He made cooking fun and seem easy. Everything he did was flawless and presented with good cheer and humor.
    Rest in peace, Chef.
    -“A beautiful thing is a joy forever.” – Peter Timmins.
    He certainly was a beautiful man.

  4. Siti says:

    I don’t know Chef Timmins very well but I was lucky to join his team at Everglades Country Club most recently.
    He interviewed me and offered me a position. He was very warm and friendly to all his staff. His advice to me, ” leave your ego at home and never take things personally”
    I’m going to miss him……RIP Chef Timmins.

  5. Ray Gilligan says:

    I worked with peter on the B+I car ferries and we became good friends. He was always destined for greatness and he fulfilled his potential brilliantly. The world is an emptier place today, and I will miss his presence in it.

  6. kevin given says:

    A good friend, a talented chef who had a tremedous following that thoroughly enjoyed his passion, sense of humor/wit and committment to the hospitaility industry. He will be sorely missed! Keep his family in your thoughts and prayers.

  7. Peter elevated the position of the professional Chef to new level with his professionalism, attitude and willingness to guide and advise young people entering the business. I knew Peter as an enabler of culinary education. My thoughts are with his family and the people who had the pleasure of knowing Peter on a personal level and who are most distressed by his sudden and early passing. Rest in Peace

  8. Charlotte D. Thompson says:

    I had the distinct pleasure of studying under Chef Timmons when he was at the BICC resort in Virginia, County Cavan. He let me sit in classes and cook on the line at the resort. I considered him a friend and I profoundly feel his absence. He will be missed.

  9. Tom mulligan says:

    Sad to hear of Peter passing away worked with him for a few years and learnt a lot from him. RIP Peter

  10. eddie russell says:

    I am so saddened to hear about peter who l worked with at B&I line,M.V. Connaught.
    He was a good shipmate and in his profession.
    And always a friend.
    He will be sadly missed by all

  11. Executive Chef William Shifflet says:

    Peter was a mentor to me and with my training under him, I now own two successful Restaurants. My brother you will be missed

  12. P O'Brien says:

    Not only his passion for food but for life. I was a student of his 25 years ago and always remember he told me what ever you do in life do it with style, grace, and elegance. You will be missed God will finally be able to enjoy the talent he gave to you.

  13. Michael Dowdy cec says:

    Met chef timmons at the greenbriar, his knowledge of food was astounding, glad I was to meet and talk with him. RIP CHEF

  14. Michael Clinton says:

    I worked with Peter over 30 years ago during the summers on B&I Line, he was always very nice to me. When i was chef at the Ritz Carlton Boston in the late 90″s i used to ring him when he was chef at the Greenbrier and we would have a good old chat. I lost contact with him over the years and i am in shock right now ! Rest in peace Peter and thank you for your skill as a truly brilliant chef….God bless to his family.

  15. Chef Michael Fanelli- Peter taught me everything I need to be an Award Winning Chef..every star,every diamond is from him.Le repertoire de le Cuisine.Thank you

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