Meet the Huber family who personifies the adage, “The family that dines together, stays together.”
(On Hayley) Silk cardigan, Fendi Kids. Silk dress, Armani Junior. Cotton hairband, Seed Heritage. (On Ashley) Cotton cardigan, Bonpoint. Cotton dress, Dolce&Gabbana Junior. Cotton hairband, Seed Heritage. (On Belinda) Cotton sweater; silk dress, Kate Spade New York OPPOSITE: (On Ashley) Terry cloth romper; cotton headband; cotton socks, H&M.
Cotton sneakers, Pediped. (On Hayley) Cotton t-shirt, Petit Bateau. Cotton trackpants; cotton socks, H&M. Cotton hairband, Seed Heritage. Cotton sneakers, Pediped. (On Belinda) Cotton dress, Miu Miu. Leather heels (worn throughout), her own. (On Andre) Cotton polo, Dior Homme. Cotton pants, Coach. Leather shoes, Gucci. Cotton socks, his own.
Andre and Belinda Huber remember their very first meal together with fondness. “We had our first date in 2007, at a French restaurant in Melbourne called Bistro Thierry. I had lamb brains, while Belinda had rabbit,” says Andre, 37, who co-founded Huber’s Butchery with his elder brother, Ryan.
For meat lovers, the Huber’s brand is synonymous with fine meats, and has garnered awards such as Gourmet Distributor of the Year at the World Gourmet Summit in 2015. Four years later, Andre would take Belinda back to the same restaurant, with the intention of popping the big question. “As it turned out, the restaurant was too crowded that night, so I led her outside after our meal, and suggested taking a photo together,” he recalls, with a glint in his eye.
“I positioned my camera on top of the hood of the car and pretended to be setting the self-timer. On the spur of the moment, I changed it to video-recording mode instead.” As the pair posed for a picture, Andre kissed the top of Belinda’s head and in one slick move, got down on bended knee and proposed to her.
Thanks to his impromptu recording, that precious moment was caught on film and shared with delighted guests who attended their wedding banquet in 2011. The chic couple now has two beautiful kids, Hayley and Ashley (aged four, and two-and-a-half, respectively), with a third one on the way. With the constant juggling of work and household needs, meal times together are what anchor the young family, keeping them connected amidst hectic schedules.
“Dinner time is very important to me. It is a time when the whole family can see each other and spend quality time with one another. We have dinner at home most days, where we catch up on the day’s happenings and have conversations over a good meal,” shares Andre. “My kids are young, so this is a good time for me to answer questions and explain things to them. I used to have dinner regularly with my folks as a kid, and I want to continue the practice with my family.”
Belinda, 35, agrees. “I come from a Vietnamese background, so our family gatherings always revolved around good food and conversation.” The doting mum makes it a point to be with her kids during meal times. “Scheduling all my appointments around them takes sacrifice,” she says, “But it’s important for me to prioritise our time together, so I make sure I’m home with them when they have lunch and dinner.”
Family breakfasts are a daily affair in the Huber household, too. “On Sundays, it is our weekly ritual to bring the kids to Huber’s Bistro for their babycinos, croissants and ham, after which comes the grocery shopping,” shares Andre. Belinda adds, “We exposed the kids to different types of meat at a very young age so they do know how to appreciate it; they know the difference between beef, chicken, hams, etc.” Ashley, in particular, loves meat.
“She loves Asian dishes like curry, chicken wings and noodles, and she will eat anything with meat in it.” When it comes to their eating preferences, the girls have already developed distinct likes and dislikes. “Hayley loves to eat carbs like pizza, rice and porridge. She has started to try sweets like ice cream (although her favourite flavour is vanilla) and cakes. She takes after Andre and I; we don’t really have much of a sweet tooth.
Ashley, on the other hand, is very adventurous with food. She will try anything at least once— I think she gets that from Andre.” A bonafide foodie, Andre admits there’s hardly anything that he won’t eat—animal offal such as lamb brains and veal sweetbread included. “It’s delicious when cooked properly. Most unusual dishes are not on my must-try list though,” says Andre with a grimace on his face.
“They tend not to be the most delicious!” And if you’re wondering who’s the better cook, “It’s definitely Andre,” concedes Belinda. “I do the day-to-day cooking at home—I’m great at following recipes—but he really loves cooking and has a knack for whipping up dishes just by tasting them.” She confesses that she prefers to be cooked for, rather than cook for. “But when I do cook, I love to see my family’s reaction, especially when they enjoy my culinary creations.
The kids love Andre’s home-made pizzas and they love my pasta bake. It’s very satisfying when they eat something and say, ‘It’s so delicious, I want to eat this every day.’” Sometimes, cravings wash over Belinda, inspiring her to try new recipes to satiate her taste buds. “This usually happens with Vietnamese food. I miss my mum’s cooking a lot, so I’m often on the phone with her, asking her how to make this or that,” she says.
Andre’s dad, Ernst, is an ex-chef who loves to experiment in the kitchen, regularly cooking up a blend of Western and Asian delights. “He loves trying new things,” says Andre laughingly. “He’ll see a new recipe on the magazine or on TV and he’ll try it… and we’ll be his guinea pigs!”
Thanks to him, Andre grew up with an in-depth appreciation for all things food-related, and says that encouraging culinary interest in his kids is something he’s starting to do, now that they understand more and are eating out at restaurants together. “I’m surrounded every day by good food at work. I want to pass on this passion and knowledge to my kids, all throughout their childhood and teenage years.”
(On Hayley) Cotton t-shirt, Mothercare. Denim overalls, OshKosh B’Gosh at KidSport. Acetate sunglasses, Carrera. Cotton sneakers, Pediped. (On Ashley) Cotton t-shirt, Mothercare. Denim overalls, Levi’s at KidSport. Acetate sunglasses, Carrera. (On Andre) Cotton sweater; cotton pants, Michael Kors.
Photographed by Gan. Styled by Debby Kwong.