Flambeeing gambas in ProvenceI am Petra Carter.. Went to school in Baarn in the Netherlands, then studied French Literature in Paris in the early 70’s.  It was the start of a love-affair with all things French, yet I chose to move to East Africa to run Tented Safari Camps in the wilds of Tanzania.. Then had another love affair: I fell in love with a bush-pilot and subsequently followed him to Nairobi where I worked first for UNICEF, then for the African Wildlife Foundation. My bush-pilot became an airline pilot, we married and moved back to Ireland.

The early 80’s were spent mostly looking after our boys and creating gardens, and it was then that I embarked on a mission that was to change my life: I trained as a chef..

By 1986 I was working as chef both for private clients and in restaurants in Dublin and the West of Ireland. This founded my knowledge of food and love of cooking, and eventually made me turn to food-writing for such publications as The Irish Times, Irish Tatler, Wine Ireland, Bon Appétit.  I was food-editor of Irish Tatler for 10 years, and editor of SQ Food for 4 years.

Memberships of the IRISH and ENGLISH FOOD WRITERS’ GUILDS confirm and acknowledge my commitment to honest and authentic food, while 30 years of cheffing and food-writing taught me not only to write recipes and be creative with food, but also how to style and photograph beautiful images.  But first and foremost, these years taught how to SHARE MY KNOWLEDGE WITH OTHERS..

While continuing to write about food I completed a BA in Fine Art which guided me in my more artistic and creative decisions – which in turn led me to buy a rambling old ruin of a house on the Canal du Midi near Narbonne. Thus, in 2004 I moved lock stock and barrel (but minus the pilot who chose to stay in Dublin) to the South of France to restore this ancient Maison de Maitre.  After spending far too much money doing up this huge house, I had to ‘re-invent’ myself to earn a living, and so ran it as a B&B with a foodie and artistic edge.

For 10 years I ran week-long  COOKING and ART COURSES  from there, but as the B&B got busier I found there was less and less time for my most ardent passions: cooking and art.  So I sold up in 2013 and moved east to be closer to Provence.

Since 2013 I have settled in the beautiful Roman/Medieval market town of UZES where I run a cookery school.