Chef Peter Kenney, Deidre Kenny and their son, Hyde.
Chef Kenney worked in professional kitchens since the age of 15, starting, as the best chefs do, washing dishes and bussing tables. Even in his teens, Kenney worked his way up the ladder—as a saucier in one of St. Augustine’s most esteemed French restaurants, as breakfast cook at a high-volume restaurant and as kitchen manager at another—all before he was 20. Under the tutelage of Manatee Cafe chef-owner Cheryl Crosley, Kenney began studying the connection between food and health. As chef de cuisine at Gypsy Cab Co., legendary owner Ned Pollack enabled him to spread his wings. Meeting Deidre while working at Gypsy and a life-changing trip to Italy shortly after they married, sealed the deal that the two would open their own restaurant. “We realized that families are born and raised in this industry,” says Kenney. Opened in 2004, Purple Olive quickly developed a following and, within two years, the Kenneys welcomed their firstborn son, Hyde. “Having a family owned and operated business is essential to being true to ourselves and to our customers,” says Kenney. The Kenneys actively participate in culinary events and competitions which benefit the community—The Great Chowder Debate, Tasete of the Beach and more. Not surprisingly, they have earned numerous awards as a result, as Purple Olive is always a crowd favorite!