Franco Taruschio grew up in the Marche region of Italy and attended Hotel School in Italy. During a stage in the UK in 1960 he met his wife Ann and in 1963 they set up The Walnut Tree in Abergavenny. Initially the restaurant served classic French dishes but fairly quickly Franco’s Italian heritage started to make itself felt on the menu.
By the mid 1960s the Walnut Tree had established a dedicated following with people trekking miles to eat a meal. The food writer Elizabeth David was a fan. Franco and Ann ran The Walnut Tree together for 37 years and in that time witnessed and influenced the transformation of culinary culture in Abergavenny, Wales and the UK.
Franco sold The Walnut Tree in 2001. Ann and Franco have written a number of acclaimed cookery books and Franco regularly teaches others how to make his legendary food.