Acclaimed celebrity chef, Tobie Puttock, has been shopping at the Prahran Market since he was a little boy. He became a household name through working alongside Jamie Oliver in the UK show, Fifteen.

With his commitment to fresh, seasonal produce, it’s only fitting that Tobie is the new ambassador for the Prahran Market. Visitors can expect to see him around the market more often, where he’ll be doing cooking demonstrations and regular seasonal ingredient updates.

We sat down with Tobie to chat about his new role, and what he’s been cooking at home with produce from the market.

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What makes shopping at the Prahran Market such a special shopping experience? 

As a person that loves to cook its brilliant to be able to chat about ingredients, it really allows me to have a greater understanding of what’s seasonal, and what I should be buying. I have twice as much fun now that I can take my daughter around and teach her about ingredients. As soon as she’s old enough I might have to get her into Claringbold’s to learn to gut and scale fish.

What drew you to the role of market ambassador? 

As I’m a local at Prahran Market, I’ve developed a relationship with many of the people who work there. Being an ambassador gives me a voice, and of course a great responsibility to both assist and represent the Market as a food hub of Melbourne.

There’s been more emphasis on the origin of our produce in the past couple of years. Do you think there has been a resurgence in market-based shopping?

Definitely, there have been a lot of stories about year-old apples emerging from a deep freeze and garlic coming from the other side of the globe. With so many cooking shows on television, peoples’ interest in what they can cook has definitely increased. We have access to information we didn’t before, so consumers can make educated choices about what they purchase and eat.

Sometimes market shopping can be a bit overwhelming. Any tips and tricks for novices? 

Keep an open mind! Don’t be scared or nervous, and try to strike up a conversation.

Give us some dinner inspiration. What are you currently cooking with in-season vegetables?

As winter makes its exit and as it warms up, we have been eating light and healthy dishes at home. The other night I made a cannelini and butter bean stew with tonnes of garlic and shredded kale. I served that with some prawns I grilled with salt and pepper. It was so simple and delicious.

What special events have you got up your sleeve?

I can’t wait to cook in an upcoming cheese festival. I’m going to make ricotta gnudi with guanciale, broad beans, peas, mint and pecorino!

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Words by Allyse Wafer


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