Cooking in Italy? Me? Oh yes – that’s what I’ve been doing!  Preparing delicious food in Umbria, Italy! – for a group of talented artists.

If anyone had said to me when I made the big decision to leave teaching ten years ago “don’t worry, one day you’ll be doing a job you REALLY love and you’ll be your own boss” I’d have thought they were mad!  If they’d also said “what’s more, that job will have the possibilities to go global” I’d have laughed at them – “yeah right!”

But that’s exactly what has happened! My chutney business evolved into a full blown party catering business and I’ve just done my first assignment abroad – in Umbria, Italy.

For one week, I was providing the meals for fifteen people at an Art Masterclass in a huge 18th century farmhouse in the Umbrian hills
It involved sourcing local ingredients to create  interesting lunches and dinners with an Italian spin.  Inevitably there were a few special dietary requirements to take into account but that was relatively easy.


It was a great opportunity and I learned a lot. The pace was quite different to the way in which I normally work. I usually have plenty of time to plan, make lists and prepare for my events in great detail. On this occasion it was a case of just getting stuck in with all the planning and recipes floating around in my head! I surprised myself with how well it went and has made me realise how far I’ve come since I started professional catering!





An added bonus was the opportunity to socialise with the guests – a lovely bunch of ladies whose artistic talents were awesome.  The weather could have been kinder to us but it was a week filled with laughter and good memories.

My love affair with Italy has begun……..!



  1. Well I can very confidently say that not only the food but company of Patricia and Nigel made the week for me. Oh yes it was a stunning place with a magical veiw but it was made so much more enjoyable with them both on board. Every meal was inventive, beautifully presented and well paced through the week. I know I’m not the only one who has rushed home to try and recapture those special memories through
    taste, colour and laughter. Patricia did incredibly well with the limited resources of being stuck up in the hills. How did you do it! She was never stressed and always delivered her food with a smile and total enthusiasm. It was a treat to meet you both and share the weeks ups and downs. Till next time (somewhere else) Gx

  2. Yes I agree with every thing that George has written.
    Patricia and Nigel were fantastic additions to the team at Artumbria and certainly made the holiday extra special with their company and Patricia’s great creative cooking.
    Making use of healthy locally sourced fresh ingredients, with spectacular presentation and a great taste.
    I have admired Patricia’s dishes from photographs on FB for quite some time now and was thrilled to try them for myself. Janice xx

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