Onboard essentials

What does Audi ambassador, chef and restauranteur, Pete Gunn, carry in his backseat.

This year has thrown up more than its fair share of challenges, but celebrated chef and Audi ambassador, Peter Gunn, shares how he’s dealt with the situation and just what he carries with him in his Audi.

7 July, 2020


Peter Gunn, rose quickly to the new challenge, adopting a new approach and developing ways to bring the restaurant experience and his award-winning food right into people’s homes

It’s been a particularly rough year for everyone, but few industries have felt the immediate impact of the COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions quite like the Australian food scene. Essentially overnight, dinning out became little more than a fond memory and those culinary innovators where forced to expend as much energy and imagination on being able to share their product as they had previously done creating it.

One such innovator, celebrated chef and Audi ambassador, Peter Gunn, rose quickly to the new challenge, adopting a new approach and developing ways to bring the restaurant experience and his award-winning food right into people’s homes.

He spoke with Audi Magazine to share just how he has been dealing with the constantly changing situation and what essential items accompany him when he gets behind the wheel of his Audi.

Audi Magazine: You’re one of Melbourne’s leading chefs. Given the extraordinary situation we all face, how are you holding up and what has been a career highlight so far for you?

Peter Gunn: Maintaining my staff. Every day I am blessed to work with a team that has been together for four years. We keep each other motivated, creative and encourage each other to learn and upskill constantly. We challenge each other daily and hold one another accountable for any missteps and responsibilities. We share all the positive and negative moments together and it’s only because of them I get to share who I am with you.

AM: What items do you regularly keep in your Audi, and how do you use it on a day to day basis?

PG: The actual longest-standing item in my Audi is a couple of Melbourne F1 Grand Prix tickets that never got used earlier in the year because it was cancelled. In terms of my everyday lifestyle, the Q8 doubles both as a child and work transport vehicle almost seamlessly - from running food and equipment from IDES in Collingwood to our bar BONNY in Fitzroy.

It has also been a door-to-door food delivery vehicle for the past couple of months with our in-home dining offering, MARCH, which was created to ensure my team had work and we could continue to make people happy during the forced closure of all restaurants. We actually had a fleet of Audis on the road delivering – an A4, A3 and Q8 all stacked with brown paper bags delivering wagyu, oysters, and wine all across Melbourne.

You’ll also find a pink drink bottle with donuts in one of the rear doors and a blue drink bottle with dinosaurs in the other. These are for my two kids, Oden and Lior, who always need water at the worst times. There is also, always, a box of tissues for them too.

AM: What’s the most unexpected ingredient we’d find in your grocery bag?

PG: There are two things that I can’t get by without – red liquorice and sparkling water. Chewy red liquorice is just the best sweet there is, and sparkling water keeps me away from soft drinks. Plus the kids don’t like them so I never have to worry about sharing. Other than that it’s fruit. Right now we are eating a lot of mandarins. I have a pretty basic palate for food when I am outside of my professional environment and enjoy the simple things. My only real preference is – if there is sauce on offer, it’s BBQ and if there’s chilli, it’s green.

We actually had a fleet of Audis on the road delivering – stacked with brown paper bags of wagyu, oysters, and wine all across Melbourne

I don’t eat breakfast but do make a protein shake for the car ride and if we are running late

AM: Take us through your daily drive route - do you stop for coffee? Do you do a produce or grocery run? Do you ever take the scenic route to work?PG: Every morning I take Oden to school around the corner from work and our route is varied. I don’t eat breakfast but do make a protein shake for the car ride and if we are running late - which is about 60 percent of the time - Oden has to have his toast in the car. I usually head to the South Melbourne market twice a week, and every week a trip to the Yarra Valley. It’s always varied and unpredictable so I always have my Audi close by and drive to work every day.

AM: What inspired you to become a chef?

PG: Telling this story here will be the most fitting it’s ever been! Way back in ’97, when I was first learning how to drive, my dad gave me a lesson in his four-wheel-drive. I parked in a little carport out the front of my nan’s house which had a long drive. That went well but for some reason I got inspired and when everyone was sitting around I decided that I would move the car - so I got the keys and tried to turn it out of the carport and back into the long drive and ended up smashing into the corner of the house. Away, I ran and dad went outside to assess the situation and was obviously furious. Knowing it was me, he came storming back into the house through the kitchen swearing. He picked up the salt shaker and there it was, on that day I became a chef!