Gordon is of Maori descent and born in the coastal town of Wanganui, New Zealand, he moved to Melbourne, Australia, in 1981 where he worked for five years before travelling through Asia for a year, and then returned to Wellington, New Zealand. He moved to London in 1989 where he has lived since. In 1994 he was a bone marrow donor to his sister Tracey who was suffering from leukaemia. In 2005, he was ranked as one of Britain's 100 most influential gay and lesbian people.
Peter set up the kitchen of the original "The Sugar Club" restaurant in Wellington, New Zealand in 1986 followed by two British incarnations in London's Notting Hill in 1996 and in West Soho, London in 1998. In 2001 he set up The Providores and Tapa Room Restaurant on Marylebone High Street with his partner Michael McGrath and 2 other partners. Michael and Peter are now sole owners of the business, along with the owners of changa restaurant in Istanbul (Tarik Bayazit and Savas Ertunc,) and UK based Annie Smail. In 2004, he set up the "dine by Peter Gordon" restaurant in the SKYCITY Grand Hotel in Auckland followed soon by the Bellota tapas bar in 2006. In July 2013, Peter opened his new restaurant "The Sugar Club" in the SKYCITY Hotel in Auckland. Peter and Michael are also co-owners of the lauded vineyard Waitaki Braids in North Otago, New Zealand.
In 2013, Gordon became the host of Fusion Feasts, where Gordon returned home to Whanganui and introduced his Maori roots, while showcasing his interpretations of fusion cuisine using local foods from his hometown, and prepared traditional Maori feasts to his extended family in his ancestral home in Paki Paki, Hastings. According to the first episode, he revealed that while he can understand some Maori, he is not fluent at it. He also revealed that his ancestor, Kahununu, was known as 'Pāua farter' because Kahununu managed to shift the blame for farting after consuming too much Pāua to his wife's ex-husband.