Quick Six With Mike Putt & Massimo Mele
1. Do you cook much for your family?
I do get to barbeque on the weekend when we’ve got time as a family, to sit down, enjoy a meal together and catch up.
2. If you get put in charge of putting a meal on the table, what is your go to?
I just can’t go past a roast chicken. I love barbequing – give me a Beefeater Bugg and I’m happy, but a roast chicken with roast vegetables, gravy…..sensational.
3. What skills will you bring to best complement the chefs on the night?
The chefs that are a part of the night are experts, I’m happy for them to lead the team and I’ll do whatever needs to be done to make the night work. I don’t mind chopping vegetables or washing dishes. We’ve got a great team of people who are passionate about helping out, so the best skill I can bring is to work with them.
4. What inspired you to get involved in the cause?
OzHarvest is a great fit with Electrolux. We both share similar values when it comes to reducing food waste, but it takes a lot of people to make a change. If I can make a difference by participating and raising awareness amongst our employees and customers, then I know we’re one step closer to achieving that. To me the difference we can make together is inspiring.
5. How will you promote the OzHarvest values in the day-to-day running of your business?
We talk about taste, care and wellbeing in our business, but we also need to show how these affect our behaviour as people. It’s fantastic too that our Electrolux ambassadors and chefs (Massimo Mele and James Viles) are both so committed to sharing the message as well. To me, I find it important to talk not just about food preservation and our values, but to show compassion, care for people and to set an example.
6. What are you most looking forward to on the night?
Most importantly, I’m looking forward to playing a small part in hopefully making a positive difference to the many people in the room, but also for others who aren’t fortunate enough to be able to join us. I haven’t had the opportunity to join in before, but from what I’ve seen, it looks like a fantastic night. Sharing the experience with some of our team members and working with a professional chef will be great fun.
1. How long have you been working with OzHarvest?
This will be my 5th year at the event and I can't wait to get stuck in again!
2. What inspired you to get involved in the battle against food waste?
After learning about how much food we waste each day it was a no brainer. I’ve grown up respecting food and was taught to be grateful and to not waste a thing as there is always someone in the world going without.
3. How did you think Mike and his fellow CEOs will go preparing your meal?
I am always pleasantly surprised at the level of effort from the CEOs. Most have no cooking experience, let alone cooking for a mass group, but everyone digs in and gets on with it.
4. As a professional chef, do you feel the industry is starting to change with regards to food wastage?
100%. When I was coming through kitchens in the old days our chef would stand guard at the bin. These days chefs are much more educated about food waste and very creative when it comes to using leftovers.
5. How are you working to reduce food wastage and what tips can you offer others?
In my home I’ve started growing my own vegetables. A lot of effort goes into it so I like to pickle vegetables when I have surplus, or make relishes. All our scraps go to our compost which in turn goes back into the garden. I’d advise others to cook their own food and freeze the leftovers, and to always share the love! I’m constantly giving food to family members to use up leftovers or make little meals for my wife to take to work and share with her staff.
6. You’ve participated in the CEO CookOff before, are there any tips or tricks a first timer needs?
My tip for the CookOff is to sit back and enjoy the night. There is so much going on but it’s important to connect with your chef, ask questions and take your time to engage with the guests – you’re bringing so much joy to their lives, so embrace it!