CHANGING the menu twice a day could seem like a difficult task for a restaurant.

But for Alexander Nutt, 45, and Patrizia Ferrara, 44, fresh, local and inspired produce is exactly what Todays Menu in Ilminster is all about.

Todays Menu is a restaurant that Alex and Patrizia opened a year ago this month.

They research and find the best local produce and create dishes based around the food they discover – hence why they change their menu so frequently.

But they haven’t both always worked in places that have the same philosophy.

Alex explained: “I started when I was 14. My grandfather offered my services to the local pub when I was 14 when the chef was off.

“They just pointed me towards the frozen food and it was just a case of cooking it simply and sending it out. And it went amazing.

“The landlord gave me £35 after service which I thought was my wages and I started cleaning everything down. As I went to leave the landlord said ‘oh I haven’t paid you, that was your tips’ and then I got another £30 on top. That’s probably when I caught the bug.”

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Patrizia added: “When I was in Italy, I just used to cook for private events – it wasn’t my job. I came to England five years ago days and I started working in a call centre, to improve my language.

“Then I moved to Falmouth and worked for restaurants and cafes. But cooking has always been in my DNA – if we were having a Sunday lunch with my family, we would talk about food – it is in my blood.”

Alex and Patrizia met in Cornwall when they started working together at a yacht club as chefs. They were there for six months before they both moved to the club across the river.

At the other yacht club, they didn’t always use fresh produce, and this was something that both Alex and Patrizia were keen to focus on. So, after a lot of saving, they opened Today’s Menu, so they can stock a small amount of produce and make sure it is always fresh.

Recently, the couple’s success has not only been recognised by the locals, but also by the Good Food Guide 2020. Since going in the guide, Alex explained that they have seen an increase in customers.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, Alex and Patrizia explore Somerset to find the best and most unique producers, and on a Thursday they will visit the Ilminster farmers market to find delicious ingredients to use on the menu that evening.

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Patrizia said: “We once found a farm that produces English asparagus – you can even eat it raw it was so full of taste. We decided that day to put it on the menu.”

Alex added: “Our food is our own take on things. We do a lot of different dishes. We have a Japanese style chicken, an Italian pasta, Eastern cuisine and so on.

“When we go out and visit farms and cheese producers and so on, it helps connect you to the whole chain.

“We are not just chefs in the kitchen, we want to understand, learn about, promote these artisan producers. Somerset has such a rich bounty of produce, it is incredible.”

As Patrizia is Italian, she loves to use extra virgin olive oil instead of butter and the pair don’t tend to thicken sauces with flour, so many of their dishes are gluten free – a healthy side effect of their cooking style.

The pair are keen to also promote the food studies side of their business and help people to understand what they can eat and promote healthy eating.

Alex said: “When I was 16, if you didn’t go to the pub you were no one and if you didn’t go to the pub and drink eight pints a night you weren’t considered a man.

“Whereas now, the younger generations are turning their backs on alcohol and have taken a more considered approach.

“To see us move away from a self-destructive nihilistic place to a more intelligent and aware society is amazing.

“Young people don’t want plastic straws, energy drinks and so on – I think the youth today are far more aware of what they are consuming.The whole approach to this is in line with what we do – we want to promote the benefits of healthy eating.

“When people come in and tell us they are changing their diet, we want to tell them they ways that they can approach vegetables and nuts to create delicious food.

“We would love to provide short cookery lessons, where customers can learn the values of things such as producing their own stock and therefore reducing their reliance on plastics and so on.”

The pair are looking forward to the future of Todays Menu and can’t wait to develop and expand their menu. But they still love working together and are hoping their passion for food will keep their restaurant growing.

Alex said: “When you work so closely with someone during a busy service and you both know what dish is being cooked - you are moving around each other like a dance and there is nothing like it.”

Patrizia added: “It is like a kind of Orchestra where everyone knows how to use the instruments and the timing is right.”

To find out more visit or call 01460 54054.