Fresh is best

June 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Tom Rutledge, former MasterChef contestant & C.E.O. @HelloFresh in Take 5 Magazine (July 4 2012 No.27)

“Peering over the stove, I watched my mum, Julia, 47, cooking dinner. “Stir the gravy for me?” she said, handing me a spoon. I nodded eagerly. It was 1992 and, at 11, I loved helping Mum in the kitchen. We lived on a beef and wool-producing property on the Southern Tablelands of NSW and Mum was an amazing cook.
By the time I was 18, I was buying cookbooks and experimenting in the kitchen. When I first started dating my wife, Clementine, in 2008, it was usually me cooking on quiet nights in. Clementine enjoyed cooking, too, but it was typically me who mixed things up a bit.
By 2011, I was working as a manager at a vineyard, but we often had friends over for dinner and they were always complimenting my cooking. “You should pply for MasterChef“, they often said. So last year, I applied thinking I’d never actually get on the show. I was stunned when I got a call asking me to go for an interview. I got accepted onto MasterChef and made it through the final 24 contestants. Even though I was voted off, my passion for cooking wasn’t dented.
I started my own gourmet food home-delivery service and, soon after, I was approached by a European company called HelloFresh. “Rather than delivering ready-made deals, we deliver fresh produce and recipes so people can cook at home,” a representative for the company told me. “It takes the hassle out of shopping and deciding what to have for dinner but it’s still healthy. We’d like to expand the business to Australia and hoped you might head it up.”
I thought it was a great idea and agreed. Anything that got people cooking healthy, nutritious meals with a bit of variety was wonderful. HelloFresh launched in Australia at the beginning of this year and is available across Sydney. We’re hoping to make it available to other major cities in Australia soon. I never imagined that my passion for cooking would lead to me running my own business, but I’m enjoying bringing fresh food to others.”

Tom Rutledge, 30, Surry Hills, NSW.

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