Today's family portrait introduces the Puttocks, a Melbourne family with varied creative credentials, each of whom have mastered their various creative fields.
The Puttock you probably know best is Tobie - a well known celebrity chef who cut his teeth at London's River Cafe, where he met Jamie Oliver in 1999... and later went on to run Jamie's much publicised Fifteen restaurants as executive head chef in both London and Melbourne. In his own right, Tobie's foodie credentials are impressive - he has run his own restaurants, appeared on various foodie TV series over the past 10 years, and has also released three best selling books.
In recent years Tobie has stepped away from the kitchen to pursue other projects, two of which are rather amazing and deserve a little mention. First off, he's created a series of brilliant e-books with Penguin called 'VideoCook', which cost only .99c each on iTunes, and are kind of a hybrid between a cookbook and a step-by-step cooking video! Covering subjects such as 'Easy Vegetarian Recipes' and 'Classic Pasta recipes', each e-book contains 10 great dishes with fail safe instructions on video - such a simple, clever idea, perfectly executed and ridiculously good value.
But Tobie's most recent venture is something I feel is going to be massive. Made by Tobie Puttock is Tobie's brand new range of restaurant-quality take home meals, which will soon be available to buy from outlets across Melbourne. The range includes dishes like ossobucco (on the bone!) and amazing chicken with green olives, lemon and marjoram - alongside separate cooked veg side dishes such as kale with capers and mustard, or sweet potato mash. The meals are cooked by Tobie's team here in Melbourne, popped in vacuum sealed bags and packaged in single serve portions for under $20 a head. Everything is natural - no preservatives, no additives, no numbers! 'The food is made the way I make it in a restaurant environment, but you get to take it home' says Tobie, who has been working on this project for many years. I have got to say, I tasted not one but four (!) of these packaged meals during our shoot, and was totally blown away - they are truly SO GOOD! I can totally see these becoming a weekly meal at my place - they taste 100% homemade, and are a much better option than take away. Can't wait for these to roll out to my local IGA...!
Tobie is incredibly close to his parents, and their influence is clear - each high achievers in their own creative fields, they've always encouraged his career choices. Kevin is a much respected hair stylist who has spent over over 35 years in the industry, and who runs his own salon, Puttock, in Albert Park. The salon doesn't appear to have a website, but I don't imagine Kevin is too bothered - he is fully booked until July!
Paddy, Tobie's Mum is one of Melbourne's most sought after make-up artists. Paddy has been in make up for 23 years (and prior to that was a hairdresser), and has developed a seriously impressive following of clients including David Jones, MYER, Country Road, Loreal, and celebrities including Miranda Kerr, Barbara Palvin, Megan Gale, Bec Judd and many more. She is also the nicest, most gracious and grounded lady you could ever meet - who has nothing but nice things to say about all the incredibly high profile people who have graced her makeup chair! Paddy is represented by Melbourne creative agency Hart and Co, where you can take a look at more of her incredible work.
During our visit to Kevin and Paddy's Melbourne home for this shoot, we were lucky to grab some snaps of Tobie in the Kitchen, Paddy's impressive portfolio of work, plus a gorgeous family portrait. Sadly we weren't able to capture Tobie's sister, Lucy Puttock - Lucy works for an NGO which is the first port of call for those in situations of distress. Sorry we missed you Lucy!
Tobie was always a free spirit, he was always out and about skateboarding or riding BMX bikes. As a little boy Tobie was always surrounded by creative people. Food was a big part of our lives and Tobie was always included in that.
Tobie's first love is snowboarding, and so we were happy that he found a job that would allow him to travel. As it turned out, after years of cooking to fund snowboarding adventures, the tables turned and I remember him calling us from the Italian Alps telling us that he really wanted to pursue cooking. So he headed to Lake Como, followed by The River cafe in London. He met Jamie Oliver there and the rest is history.
We are very very proud that after many years in the kitchen Tobie has found his niche in life, and is doing something that makes him happy. With all his achievements he has never changed. We have always been very close and to this day we speak on the phone daily.
My parents had me when they were quite young and so we always had a really close relationship. My Dad is from the UK and so we travelled to Europe almost every year to see his family and so from an early age I had the travel bug. I think one of the coolest things was growing up in a creative environment, they where always supportive of whatever I wanted to pursue.
I think the influence of my parents is kicking in now more than ever. In the past couple of years I have moved away from restaurants. When I was younger I always wanted to do so many creative things, but I didn't know where to start. Right now is an awesome time of my life, I have been working on my food brand for years, but I also do a lot of filming, editing, colour grading and so on which for me is super creative and I love it so much. I definitely wouldn't be where I am today without their support!