LOS ANGELES — Mark Peel, who along with Nancy Silverton co-founded La Brea Bakery in 1989, died June 20 shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. He was 66 years old.
Regarded as a founder of California cuisine, Mr. Peel started cooking in the 1970s. He began his career working with Wolfgang Puck at Ma Maison, later moving to France, where he worked at La Tour d’Argent and Le Moulin de Mougins. Mr. Peel returned to California to work at Michael’s of Santa Monica and Chez Panisse.
In 1989, Mr. Peel co-founded La Brea Bakery with his then-wife, Ms. Silverton. Originally just a small storefront bakery, La Brea Bakery in the late 1990s opened a production facility in Van Nuys, Calif., making it the largest artisanal bakery in the United States. Mr. Peel and Ms. Silverton sold La Brea Bakery to Aryzta in 2001, and it is now part of Aspire Bakeries.
Shortly after founding La Brea Bakery, Mr. Peel created, co-owned and served as executive chef for Campanile restaurant, where he spent more than 23 years. He later opened The Tar Pit, which combined his passion for market-fresh food with the excitement of artisan cocktails.
Mr. Peel was a frequent guest on television shows, including “Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Knife Fight,” “Top Chef,” “Top Chef: Masters,” and “Top Chef: Just Desserts.” He also authored and co-authored several books, including “New Classic Family Dinners,” “Mark Peel & Nancy Silverton At Home: Two Chefs Cook for Family and Friends,” and “The Food of Campanile.”
Mr. Peel supported St. Vincent’s Meals on Wheels for more than 30 years.
Survivors include his wife, Daphne Brogdon, and five children, three of them with former wife Ms. Silverton.