Originally from San Sebastian, Spain, Pedro spent his formative years in a community where chefs are as revered as doctors and engineers. Although he showed an early fascination with food, he decided to pursue studies in environmental chemistry to broaden the scope of his interests and build an educational base. Despite the prospect of a promising scientific career, after graduating he embarked on his childhood dream of exploring the diverse cultures and flavors of the world.
Counting passport stamps as badges of honor, Pedro has since discovered the colorful spices of India, the meticulous work ethic of Japanese chefs, the intricacy of Asian cuisine, and cuisine steeped in the history of India. Europe. His impressive CV includes stints with Martin Berasategui (Spain, 3 Michelin stars), Quique Dacosta (Spain, 3 Michelin stars), Ryugin (Japan, 3 Michelin stars) and Zurriola (Japan, 2 Michelin stars).
Pedro has had major successes in Spain as Executive Chef of Paradores de Turismo hotels and resorts, a brand focused on Spanish heritage and history. The role saw Samper dream up parties fit for a king, and quite literally, with frequent banquets thrown for the Spanish royal family. Pedro then continued his international forays, flourishing in leadership roles in Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Maldives.
The chef’s strongest assets are his depth and deep understanding of cooking. Its cooking philosophy is based on three main pillars: seasonality, heritage and mastery.
While seasonality is far from a new priority in the culinary world, Pedro is putting more emphasis on it, chasing each season to extract the freshest, most pronounced flavor possible. From picking winter mushrooms to spending days exploring the best way to use summer peaches, he especially enjoys dishes that taste like the time of year.
A historian by hobby, Samper respects the culinary heritage of each culture. For example, while cooking a basque-style cod dish, he reflects on his ancestors who conquered the seas as the best fishermen in the world in the 1500s. When he experiences Indian cuisine, he cannot help but remember how the spice trade changed the global landscape and the significance it had on Indian culture. Digging deep into the root of every dish and technique lends a sense of importance to the task at hand and inevitably results in better creation.
Samper’s final pillar, mastery, involves continuous practice of the craft from as many perspectives as possible. Every technique learned in another part of the world is an addition to a chef’s toolbox, which is why continuous learning is something Pedro demands of himself and his team. The chef’s pursuit of knowledge extends beyond the culinary world, with his mastery of chemistry giving him a molecular understanding of food and his love of photography resulting in artful plating, as seen on his feed Instagram. @chefpedrosamper.
After fully acclimating to his new role at Four Seasons, Pedro began instilling his values in his star-studded team, elevating the culinary offerings of some of the city’s most impressive restaurants.