Private chefs open vegetarian cafe

Alison and Brett Hutley have opened a new cafe, Botanica Real Food.
Alison and Brett Hutley have opened a new cafe, Botanica Real Food. Photo: Michelle Smith

It's a long way from cooking for the rich and famous to running a vegetarian takeway shop in Red Hill.

For five years, Alison Hutley and husband Brett were living in Sydney, private chefs to James and Erica Packer and Aussie Home Loan founder John Symonds.

"We loved it. We are both restaurant-trained, but cooking in someone's home, it gave us an understanding of what people really want to eat at home," Alison says.

The offerings ... vegan brownies.
The offerings ... vegan brownies. Photo: Michelle Smith

What that is, the Hutleys reckon, is food that "makes you feel good after eating it".

"There's not much takeaway that's nutritious and delicious and we wanted to take the stress out of cooking." The pair opened the doors of their modest venture Botanica Real Foods on Friday.

"While it was hard to leave such wonderful families and jobs, this has been our dream for the last 18 months, and we only wanted to do it in Brisbane, because this is where we're from" Alison says.

The unveiling ... Botanica Real Food in Red Hill.
The unveiling ... Botanica Real Food in Red Hill. Photo: Michelle Smith

Despite Botanica promoting a menu of vegetarian and vegan food, neither of the Hutleys are vegetarian.

"No, we're not vegetarian, but we know that we always feel better when we eat something that's not necessarily protein-laden," Alison says.

"This is an easy way for people to get more plant-based food into their diet."

Botanica's menu includes eight different salads a day, some of which will be vegan, such as wild rice, quinoa or lentil salads.

There will be open tarts and family-sized quiches as well as a range of dips and baked products, including gluten-free goodies all made in-house.

Botanica Real Food, Shop 9, 1 Enoggera Terrace, Red Hill.