Monday, May 2

The Insider: Behind the scenes - Finishing touches the Australian Good Taste Readers Issue with Tobie Puttock!

As the Australian Good Taste Team are putting the finishing touches on the June 2011 Issue 'The Reader Issue' they invited ten of the 'Reader Editor' team of 50 to come and have a sneak peak and meet the ambassador of the issue, Tobie Puttock.

We started back in the heat of Summer and I know many at that time struggled with getting their head around winter food - but this day, there was no issue.  The weather was well and truly showing us winter was on its way  and it was lovely to see the familiar faces - we were very excited about the day was going to bring.

First of all, Brodee showed us through some pages that had been put together and many were pointing saying 'that was my idea' and 'I went to that shoot'! There was one shoot that featured some mulled wine and Michelle Southan - AGT's food editor jokes: 'Oh I remember that shoot!  Don't remember getting home though'.  She WAS joking friends, promise!  But it does give you some idea of how friendly and warm the staff are (and not intoxicated either!)

It was wonderful seeing the ideas brainstormed come to life on the page.  Brodee confessed that there were so many brilliant ideas they couldn't fit them all in one issue so they may appear in some of the other winter issues.

As for the pages we looked at - they have that signature rich warm feel, and I'm going to tell you right now - it's totally lickable!!  We also saw the cover - I was present at this shoot and I'll be sharing more about that with you later but you're going to love it.

Then Tobie arrived, yes in his signature beanie.  But it was off in no time and he was sitting with us (in fact next to yours truly) chatting over tea and muffins. Oh well he would have had I not accidentally eaten his muffin, and left him mine. Whoops.
This is the lovely Sue (Baby-Mac Beth's Mum) on our video!
We had a look at the video we created on our first day to get Tobie up-to-speed about how the issue came about and all the people involved - I don't have access to it yet - but stay tuned!

We talked food endlessly obviously and it was a very free-flowing conversation.  There's a real air of 'normalcy' to Tobie - and as he stated straight up he's not into 'stuck up' food.  He takes us through his beginnings of getting into food and his deep love of Italian food.   He learned to speak Italian in the kitchen whilst working in Italy and then put this to good use in his job some time later the River Cafe (where he met Jamie Oliver) when he would translate real family recipes from some local Italian immigrants.  This is the food you can tell excites Tobie - the food that's from the heart.

His latest book 'How to cook like an Italian' is very much centred on that and was the product of a trip he did with his wife.
The book, along with Tobie's glasses and the remains of his muffin (that I ate...whoops)

All the non-food photos are actually happy snaps by them. It's gorgeous.  

We are lucky enough to have lunch cooked from this book:  Gnudi (which honestly are amazing) - ricotta gnocchi - think cheesy gnocchi - a bit firm on the outer and oozy in the centre.

Also rolled pork neck stuffed with figs, pistachio, fennel seeds and all kinds of yummy things.

Needless to say, it was absolutely-drop-dead-delicous and I got home that night, hopped online and bought myself a copy.

We also got to see Tobie have his 'ambassador shots' get taken - love seeing the photographers and stylists at work!

After Tobie jetted back to Melbourne to work at the The Kitchen Cat - his new restaurant, I got back to work and that meant hanging out with the new Art Director at Australian Good Taste, Dan.

Dan used to work at Good Living supplement with the Sydney Morning Herald, and although he didn't do the art direction for the photo-shoots in the June 2011 issue, he's still put his stamp on it by putting it all together - imagine that the puzzle pieces have been made by someone but you need to put the jigsaw together.

Dan took me through a layman's guide to Art direction which is basically to:
  • Work on concept/look/feel of each issue with the Editor
  • Work with Food Editor on recipes
  • Work with Editor and sub-editors on other content
  • Assign photographers and stylists, schedule shoots and engage the relevant home economist
  • Be responsible for the art direction budget which includes paying all the photographers/stylists/studios/printing - the list goes on!
  • Put together and distribute the design brief and follow up everyone's availability.

The booking of photoshoots and resources is done about 4-5 months in advance to lock in the right resources.  For example some photographers have better skills at covers or particular looks.  Stylists certainly have their own distinctive 'looks' and home-economists have their unique skill sets - i.e. they may be amazing at cakes, but not so great at pastry or fish.

Interesting isn't it?

So friends, one more update to come, and that's on the cover photo-shoot - I shall be revealing to you the day before it's out (May 25, mark your calendar) - so you'll get a sneaky peak first!

So friends are you looking forward to the issue and are you going to buy it?
What would you ask Tobie Puttock if you had the chance?

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2 lovely comments:

Jane on May 2, 2011 at 7:20 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

"Absolutely-drop-dead-delicious" <-- love it! How exciting that you got to have tea and muffins with Tobie! Thanks for giving us a behind the scenes peek at how the magazine is put together xxx

Anonymous said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Well plenty of places have the community BBQ - you know soccer clubs sat morning, netball etc. Any suggestions that can make the club BBQ stand out and earn that extra $ or two by some addons to a steak and sausage sandwiches. Most have bacon, eggs and onions but was thinking down the line of sauces, toppings for the sausages and the like. Make the BBQ stand out and will get it talked about by visiting teams etc


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