The influence of others has me thinking of the many people that have helped to shape my ideals. Ideals that were at the forefront when I started Tom & Luke and wrote the Tom & Luke’s food philosophy… So, you could say that it was written by a collective.
The guy to my right has played a huge part in my ideals. For those of you that know Tom, you will know that he is a force to be reckoned with. He has unrelenting energy and enthusiasm and am infectious quality that I’m always happy to be around and I am so happy he had an addiction to mochaccinos back in the day – the direction of both our lives has changed dramatically thanks to those fateful days.
For me, family sits out as a huge influencer – my immediate & extended family, and my adopted family, my closest friends who are always there for me (you all know how you are). My amazingly talented wife pushes me when I need pushing (which is most of the time) and is the best mum to our two boys that anyone could ever hope for. If it takes an Army, then she is my Commander and Chief.
My family growing up have fueled a passion for food that runs deep. This started early on in life with my Mum & Grandma cooking huge Indian banquets for special occasions, and my Dad nailing backyard BBQs in the summer for the family get-togethers.
This passion developed into nights, weekends, and numerous split shifts working in some of the most fast paced and frantic kitchens in Wellington, with a group of people you could only describe as “society’s fringe.”
The time spent then was both eye opening and educational. So much came and went but I remained close to a few characters that stood for more than just the lifestyle. The mantra is, take the best quality ingredients you can find and do the least amount to them to enhance the natural flavour. Even to this day I find myself holding on to these like-minded people with the same ideals. Whether that be pulling yeast starters from thin air to create some of the finest bread anyone has ever eaten, or learning the art (yes art) of smoking a 6kg brisket on an offset smoker for 12 hours, and seeing the joy it creates in the group it was cooked for (let me tell you, it takes a fair amount of liquid refreshment & tasting sessions to get it right!)!
Not to forget my staunchly vegan and vegetarian friends, whom I love cooking for because it’s so much more of a challenge to feed you guys well at a BBQ.
I suppose the common thread running through “my why” is the notion of the a collective. The idea that you are shaped by your surroundings and the people who surround you, and it’s ultimately up to you to find the inspiration, and the joy and make the most of it.