Born and bred in Sydney, Australia, Catherine Fenton says cooking has always been a big part of her life. "My mum is Italian and she's an amazing cook, so I learned from her - which is why my food has a Mediterranean flavour.
"I've always experimented and when I was growing up, would cook for anyone willing to try my dishes!"
Warm company and clearly enthusiastic about her craft, Catherine specialises in healthy, organic vegan cuisine, although her dishes are not exclusively vegan. "Italian food can be full of processed elements such as meat and gluten. However, I found meat and diary affected my digestion, which led me to trying to cut out certain things. I had to experiment and that was really fun for me."
Catherine says she enjoys going to restaurants and tasting new flavours and then trying to recreate them at home. "But with my own interpretation and twist," she explains. "I am intrigued by food and like tweaking dishes to my taste. I think I have a bit of a flair for putting flavours together.
"Cooking is like therapy for me. You can do whatever you like with food, it's so creative. And it's satisfying to see people savouring your creations."
Catherine believes eho chef has been helpful in her journey towards cooking for others professionally. "When I stumbled on eho chef, I was excited as I thought it was really a great concept. And the fact that I didn't need to be a qualified chef made me feel welcome. It was something I knew I could do.
"Everyone has at least one signature dish they can make with confidence and if you're invested and have a passion for cooking, I believe you can succeed."
Catherine's mother's family emigrated from Italy to Australia 60 years ago. "And they took food with them. They brought a coffee machine and introduced pizza. People in Sydney didn't know what pizza was back then! My mother and her family started up a restaurant and factories and as their success grew, they even supplied food to the Australian airline, Qantas."
Catherine's grandfather was a pastry chef and also had a cake shop for 20 years, so food really is in her genes.
"For me, using eho chef was a great experience. The site is so easy to use - registering and then uploading menus - it all went seamlessly. My first time, I took my sister with me as an assistant and for security as I was a bit nervous. But now I'm feeling more confident, I am happy to do it on my own."
Catherine says she is also pleased with the business aspect of eho chef. "You are making valuable contacts while you do something you love, quite apart from the profits. I was very happy with the result.
"I made three sauces ahead of time at home before I got to my event. Then I arrived two hours before so that I could meet everyone calmly and not feel frazzled about the timing of my dishes.
"It was a happy, fulfilling experience and I plan to keep working in this way."
* Catherine is establishing a pop-up healthy panizza (pancake/pizza) restaurant with her mother and sister in Soho. More news about her opening dates as soon as we have them.