Banyo may well be the next Rosalie or Oxford Street, Bulimba, with celebrity chef Dominique Rizzo opening a new foodie facility there: Putia Pure Food. I first recall seeing Dominique Rizzo on TV’s Ready Steady Cook, performing comedy with the fabulous Peter Everett while whipping up amazing meals from simple lists of ingredients. She has an extensive career in cooking and Australian television and radio, premiering on SBS’s Food Lover’s Guide to Australia, 4BH and 612ABC radio, and guest spots on The Great South East, The Circle, and her long-standing role on Ready, Steady, Cook. More recently, Dominique has appeared on Channel 10’s Yes Chef and It’s a Lifestyle TV and has the presenter role for Fresh on Sundays, a food show on Brisbane’s 4BC.
If you don’t know Brisbane’s northeast like the back of your hand, the cluster of shops at Banyo is hard to find. Putia is a few steps from the train station, which must be very handy for commuters. It is billed as a kitchen, pantry and school, where foodies can unite and everyone is invited. Putia is open for breakfast and lunch from Wednesday to Sunday and dinner on Friday and Saturday nights—the other evenings are available for private dinners, events, workshops, corporate team building classes, tasting events and demonstrations. As a cooking school, from 2015 Putia will run a variety of classes with a focus on world cuisines. They will also hold specific classes on gluten free, vegetarian and healthy lifestyle cooking, drawing vitality and inspiration from the kitchen, garden and beyond.
Putia is also available for hire for functions, weddings and birthdays and has a warm inviting space for hire for filming, photo shoots and food styling. Dominique is the star of the Putia show, her exuberant manner welcoming patrons and spreading the good word of her food philosophies—including a recent food tour to Norfolk Island. Her new space is a family affair; her brother owns the block and helped out with building, her mother tends to the herbs (and more), and her sister-in-law runs a homewares shop next door. Dominique seems happy to be doing what she loves at her Banyo home, and no doubt locals will appreciate it too.
Words by Chris Hassall