Former Greenbrier Executive Chef Peter Timmins dies at 57
By Peggy Mackenzie
Peter Timmins, CMC, executive chef at The Everglades Club in Palm Beach, FL, was found dead in an apartment in West Palm Beach, FL., on Oct. 28. He was 57. Police have not released a cause of death or said whether foul play is suspected, according to a Palm Beach (FL) Post report.
Timmins leaves behind a legacy as a culinary mentor from his 40-year career. News of his death sent reverberations through the industry, particularly among chefs who worked under him at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs. During his tenure there, Timmins oversaw one of the most prestigious culinary apprenticeship programs in the United States. Among its graduates are Hawaii Food & Wine Festival regulars Mark Noguchi, chef owner of the Lunch Box, and Bocuse d’Or competitor Richard Rosendale.
“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, said he remembered Timmin’s passion for cooking. There were seven restaurants at The Greenbrier at that time, and Timmins oversaw each one. “Peter was very energetic. He was very jolly and a nice guy, Varney said. “And I can tell you, he was very talented.”
“Chef Timmins will be sorely missed,” said Jerry Schreck, executive chef of Merion Golf Club, in Ardmore, PA. “He touched an astounding number of cooks’ careers and was actively involved in so many organizations to help develop culinary talent.”
Prior to his arrival to The Everglades Sportsman’s Club in 2013, Timmins was the executive chef of The Gasparilla Inn and Club, 2009-2012, and at The Greenbrier. 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 is one of only 60 chefs in the world to have earned this coveted title.
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. Timmins competed several times in the international Culinary Olympics and in 2005 was awarded the American Culinary Federation President’s Medallion for his superb talents. Timmins also received a fellowship from the Epicurean World Master Chefs Society and a doctorate from Johnson & Wales University for his successes and contribution to the culinary arts.
Memorial services for Timmins will be held on Saturday, Nov. 8, at the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church at 325 West Main Street, White Sulphur Springs. Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. with the funeral service to follow at 2:30 p.m. A service will also be held at 3 p.m. at Kate’s Mountain Lodge on The Greenbrier hotel property at 300 West Main Street, WSS. A reception will follow the family visitation at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family intends to set up a memorial scholarship fund for apprentices.