Meet the Owners
Hospitality couple Stavros and Svetlana Protz are the two new faces behind Putia Pure Food.
Stavros studied Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Management at Victoria University in Melbourne. While studying he worked at various top restaurants and cafes where he developed the foundation of his hospitality knowledge. Shortly after graduating he opened his first café in Melbourne’s foodie epicentre – Fitzroy.
A pivotal role in Stavros hospitality career was the sabbatical year when he travelled with Svetlana to over 50 countries. In that year he developed a renewed interest in cooking. He had the opportunity to learn firsthand traditional cuisines from locals in the various countries. Stavros would often go in the kitchen and offer to help. That experience was the inspiration behind his first venue in Brisbane, Medley Café and Restaurant with World Inspired Food as a theme.
Svetlana was an accountant but simultaneously she developed a passion for healthy nutrition and lifestyle. In 2017 Svetlana had a change in career to open Flora Organika, a small café/florist in Toowong. She is very happy and content working with flowers and nutritious food.
Stavros and Svetlana’s food philosophy reverts to nature, less meat, less artificial preservatives, less processed food, more vegetables, more fruit, organic and local when possible. In other words, Pure Food. They believe that selecting better food choices is the key to health as individuals and also collectively for the sake of our planet.
Their goal with Putia Pure Food is continuing to provide excellent hospitality while staying truthful to their values.
Our Head Chef – Sheena McRuvie
With over 30 years of experience, Chef Sheena McRuvie has worked and helped establish some of Brisbane’s top restaurants before making her way to Putia Pure Food Kitchen in 2014. Her love of food and cooking started at a young age, casting a watchful eye over her parents Bill and Jean in their successful family bakery, learning her craft and gaining an appreciation and interest in cooking and hospitality. Born in the picturesque Scottish highlands of Stornoway, Sheena’s food philosophy and cooking style stems from her heritage and love of travel, reminiscent of a warm Scottish embrace- traditional and timeless with a modern Australian twist using local, seasonal produce.
Training in Central Queensland before finishing in Brisbane, Sheena started her career as the first apprentice to be offered a position as a qualified chef under Executive Chef Michael Wood at Brisbane’s pioneer seafood restaurant, Pier Nine. Sheena then refined her skills and gained a wealth of experience by travelling and living in the United Kingdom working at Great Fosters Hotel in Egham, Surrey before coming back to sunny Brisbane and blazing a trail in our most loved and respected restaurants.
Sheena held positions as lead Grill Chef of hugely popular Char Cha Cha Wine Bar and Grill, followed by time with Philip Johnson at Ecco Bistro as Chef De Partie. Sheena’s love of pastries and baking evolved with Tony Smith at Cream Patisserie, before going on to win regional and state excellence awards as Head Chef for her work at Boroughs Café and Wine Bar in beachside Scarborough and managing her brigade as Head Chef at Delizioso on Oxford. When Sheena is not leading the kitchen at Putia, she loves relaxing with friends and family, spoiling her two beautiful cats Molly and Leo, baking, scoping out the Brisbane food scene and planning her next overseas holiday.
Our Front of the House Team
Deb and Sarah have been with Putia since opening in 2014, a mother-daughter duo who live and breathe food and heartfelt hospitality. Running the day-to-day operations at Putia, Deb and Sarah join forces to bring our guests exceptional customer service and an unforgettable dining experience, an extension of their close family and love of bringing people together through the sharing of food.
Deb has been working in hospitality for over 35 years, from boutique bakeries to English tea rooms, inspired by her love and passion for genuine, warm customer service. When you walk in the door at Putia, Deb’s warm smile and open arms welcome you to enjoy our beautiful seasonal offering, a home away from home. Every attentional to detail is taken care of when you are being looked after by Deb, she is the heartbeat of Putia. When she is not overseeing the floor service at Putia, Deb loves spending time with her own family, holidaying in Spain, camping or cruising to exotic locations with her husband Paul.
Before arriving at Putia, Sarah studied International Hotel and Tourism Management (First Class Honours) majoring in Hospitality and Events at the University of Queensland, St Lucia while working in multiple restaurants around Brisbane. She is a self-confessed foodie with a passion for food styling and cooking. When Sarah is not overseeing the Front of House at Putia, she loves café exploring around Brisbane and beyond, wandering through gourmet delis and farmers markets and planning her next holiday to Italy. Deb and Sarah love working together at Putia and look forward to welcoming you into our extended Putia family.