Peter Patterson – Mr Balloonatic, Pirate Pete
Affectionately known as Peter Perfect, Peter Patterson is also known as Mr Balloonatic (in his hot pink suit) and Pirate Pete and is the creative director for Balloonaversal Entertainments.
Long before becoming his alter ego Mr Balloonatic, Peter owned a string of successful Melbourne French restaurants, the latest venture being the popular classic French restaurant ‘Le Café Francais’ located on Grattan St, Carlton. Gaining several highly rated reviews from Melbourne’s toughest food critics, Le Café often saw Melbourne’s notoriety visit on a regular basis. Chef Peter and his restaurant were regular features in newspapers and magazines.
English born, his chefing skills have taken him all over the world, working his way up the kitchen ranks from kitchen hand to Executive Chef, managing large hotel kitchens such as the Noga Hilton in Geneva, Switzerland and the Menzies at Rialto in Melbourne the late 80s, early 90s.
To be an interior designer or not?
While being a chef wasn’t Peter’s original career path, cooking did become a passion. He was studying at Riegate College of Art and Design to become an interior designer and payed his way through uni working as a kitchen hand at a fine dining restaurant, The Panorama near Gatwick Airport in London.
Peter was quickly promoted from kitchen hand to cold larder chef, but to continue working in that position he needed to attend catering college. Reluctant to let Peter leave his team, the head chef made the arrangements. And the rest is history as they say. Career was path altered and a whole new world opened up to the young adventurous chef who excelled at all that he turned his hand to. He received several awards in culinary competitions such as butter carving and ice sculpting.
Travel was another passion of Peter’s and he discovered that being a chef lent itself perfectly to this. Plenty of work opportunities arose to travel the world placing Peter in exotic locations such as France, Switzerland, Morocco, Israel, Hong Kong and finally Australia.
Pirate Pete is ‘born’
When Peter met his future wife Michelle Anthony in 2000 he was in his 6th year running Le Café Francais. Michelle was already a children’s entertainer know as Mrs Balloonatic. The face painting and balloon twisting that she was doing at kids parties captured Peter’s attention sparking his natural artist nature and he began dabbling with these new mediums. Michelle, noticing a ‘slight’ (said with tongue in cheek) talent, decided that Peter should join her on weekends and that he needed a character. Pirate Pete was born. Not too long after that, Michelle threw Peter in the deep end and booked him into his first balloon twisting & face painting gig. He loved it.
In 2002 the restaurant was sold and Peter and Michelle who were married by then, joined forces. Deciding that the original business name Mrs Balloonatic the Clown was a little limiting, they brainstormed over a bottle of vintage French red and ‘voila’ in 2003 a new business was forged – Balloonaversal Entertainments.
Kids Entertainment Business Grows
Peter and Michelle’s reputation to perform and entertain children of all ages grew beyond their ability to service the new business inquiries that began flooding in. People were loving the balloon twisting & face painting skills that were on offer and that the kids were kept spell bound at birthday parties and corporate events. So a hand picked team of fun, enthusiastic guys and girls were personally trained by Peter and Michelle to ensure the same level of expertise was available to all who enjoy the Balloonaversal ‘flavour’. You’ll find these team members are experts in face painting, balloon twisting as well as the skill of holding a rowdy group of kid’s interest with fun, comedy and amazement – never as easy as it sounds.
Although Peter is an extremely talented face painter, he is now mostly recognised as one of Melbourne’s elite balloon twisters. His work evolves around roving balloon entertainment at corporate events and specialised large one off balloon sculptures. Peter combines his artistic design flair and his fastidious desire to produce high quality balloon works of art (hence his nick name Peter Perfect). Peter’s clients feel confident knowing the work that his work is first class and will gain acclaim from all who view it – a great result in recognition for the company and people who use Peter or his team’s balloon twisting services.
One of Peter’s most recent large balloon piece was the award winning 2016 Moomba Birdman Rally entry, ‘The Balloonaful Birdman’ that attracted much of Melbourne’s media attention.
Chef to Coach
Peter’s natural warmth, love of people and great communication skills opened the way for teaching opportunities and is now a regular trainer at Australia’s largest industry events. He is also available to teach balloon twisting skills for company team building days. Staff will enjoy his witty humour, his easy style of teaching along with his expertise at bringing a team together, a legacy from working with large teams in international restaurant kitchens.
If you are out and about at some event and notice a balloon twister in a hot pink suit, go and tap him on the shoulder and say ‘Hi’. If it’s not Mr Balloonatic in person, it will be another of our master balloon twisting team members. They’ll be sure to great you warmly.