Neredah McIntosh

WHEN your foodie family is one of Melbourne's most celebrated, it's no surprise that the art of eating provides endless inspiration from one generation to the next. Here, Neredah McIntosh together with her chef father, Andrew Blake, prepare their favourite summer dishes for Live With Us.

  1. Photographed by ANNETTE O'BRIEN  

  2. Interview NATASHA INCHLEY

  3. Editor LOUISA DE KIEVIT  


    Food For Thought: above, the tradition of eating well and sharing time at the table is a family ceremony. Neredah is pictured with her daughter Missy. The family wears COUNTRY ROAD throughout; above right, a Mediterranean-inspired blood orange and fennel salad. Scroll down for the recipe. Like Father, Like Daughter: below, Neredah in the kitchen with her father Andrew Blake.

  1. NEREDAH, CAN YOU SHARE AN ANECDOTE ABOUT YOUR CHILDHOOD AND GROWING UP IN SUCH A WONDERFUL FOODIE FAMILY: My parents would work incredibly long and hard hours in the restaurant [Blakes, an iconic fine-dining eatery formerly located in Melbourne’s Southgate], however every Friday my dad would make a point of taking the afternoon off; he would walk in the door with a tiny jar of caviar, my parents would have a glass of champagne and we’d all sit down with our teaspoons and share that special little treat. I can really appreciate now just how much they exposed me to, I had so many different dining experiences at such an early age. Food became an education: it was always expected of me to try everything, dad always reinforced the message that our taste palettes change – if I didn’t like something, I was always encouraged to keep trying it. I remember, too, always chatting to the chefs and the restaurant staff, they were very much a part of my extended family.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR OWN GREAT PASSION FOR FOOD TODAY, AND WHAT INSPIRES YOU? Having grown up in the restaurant, it was very hard not to be engulfed by food and obsessed by it. I have always found inspiration in the many different ways food brings people together, along with the memories that come from sitting down together at the table.

YOU'RE NOW FOLLOWING IN YOUR FATHER'S FOOTSTEPS, HAVING TAKEN ON A TOP POST WITHIN THE FAMILY'S CATERING BUSINESS, BLAKES FEAST – WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY FOR CREATING THE PERFECT EVENT? When I started in the business, it was a very small company. We had to be masters of all trades, at one point I even did the accounts. But I think it did demonstrate to me that you have to adapt. Now that we’ve grown, my role has morphed into brand development, which factors in everything from how we present ourselves to the market, all the way through to the execution of events. We certainly tailor events to suit the needs of the client; we try to identify their personal style and how they like to eat, then we choose a menu appropriate to that, incorporating special personal touches along the way. Substance is key: you have to start with a feeling – little things like a personalised cocktail can set a tone and really put everyone in a celebratory mood.


  1. DO YOU HAVE CERTAIN RITUALS, PARTICULAR TO MEALTIME, WHICH YOU LOOK FORWARD TO MOST? I think certainly at the moment, with my eighteen-month-old daughter Missy, we are very conscious of sharing in her kiddie dinners, and making an effort to sit down with her. We’ve introduced her to such a range of different foods and flavours, whether it’s yum cha, broths, or pho bo Thai noodles in stock. I think it’s really important to create memories at the dining room table.

Below, Neredah's father Andrew Blake shares a few of his fresh, Mediterranean-inspired recipes. Created to serve eight people, this is the perfect menu for slow eating with vibrant colours:

  1. Rocket, Shaved Fennel & Blood Orange Salad 


  3. Ingredients: 

  4. 2 handfuls rocket, washed and spun dry
    2 small fennel bulbs, shaved
    100ml extra virgin olive oil

  5. 30ml white wine vinegar
    2 blood oranges, rind & pith removed & sliced into disks
    4 radishes, shaved
    sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

  6. Method: 

  7. Mix rocket and shaved fennel in a large bowl and dress with oil and vinegar. Place a third of the mix in a wide salad bowl. Scatter a third of the blood orange slices and shaved radish over the leaves and season. Repeat the process twice more to achieve a perfectly layered salad.


  3. Orecchiette, Spring Pea, â€¨Ricotta & Chorizo Salad 


  5. Ingredients: 

  6. 1 chorizo sausage
    150ml extra virgin olive oil
    40ml sherry vinegar
    1 tsp micro-planed lemon rind
    3 cups orecchiette, cooked
    2 cups fresh peas, cooked
    1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
    250g ricotta, crumbled
    2 tblsp chopped parsley
    sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  7. Method: 

  8. Cut chorizo in half lengthways and then slice half crossways into crescents. Cook over a medium-high heat in a heavy pan for a minute or two until slightly crisped. Drain the seeped oil from the chorizo into a small jar and add olive oil, vinegar & lemon rind. Screw on lid and shake well to mix. Put aside.  In a large bowl combine the orrechiette, peas, chillis, chorizo, ricotta and chopped parsley. Toss to mix all ingredients well. Shake the dressing and add most to the salad. Toss well, season to taste and add more dressing if required.

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