About Me


Hi, I’m Isabella Torrisi, a lover of food and good stories, wife and mother to identical twin girls.

I started Small Town Chutney while living in Brisbane in my 20’s. My husband and I used to balance city living with regular weekends away, exploring south east Queensland and northern New South Wales. We pulled over at honesty boxes, dined out for breakfast and soaked up the earthy vibe of regional farmer’s markets. Back home, I  cooked using all the wonderful ingredients we found on our adventures.

Small Town Chutney is my way of sharing my finds and encouraging people to know the provenance of their food.

I don’t operate under any strict food mile rules or profess to be an expert. I simply look for quality, seek out useful information and enjoy things a little off beat and fun. In particular, I love a good story.

I was born and raised in Albany, Western Australia.  I moved to Queensland when I was 19 and lived in Brisbane for 10 years. My childhood was rich and full growing up in Albany. We lived near the beach, sharing the property with my Mum’s parents. I fondly recall Oma and Opa spinning wool that had been hand dyed with plant based dye  in a big pot outside. Opa would weave rugs on a  loom in their lounge room. We had chooks,  a substantial vegetable garden, a laden lemon tree and no TV.  My family is a little bit quirky (me too)  but I attribute my imagination to spending my days outdoors roaming the countryside on camping and sailing adventures. If I was hungry after school, mum would say go eat a carrot from the garden. It was totally normal for me to munch on a carrot that I had ripped out of the garden and washed under the rainwater tap. For mum, using homegrown produce in cooking was more about providing economically for our family but I am grateful for this early exposure to cooking and eating produce in season. Sitting down at the table each night Mum would proceed to point out what in our meal had come from her garden.

In 2012, my husband and I sold up our belongings in Brisbane, bought a camper van called ‘Sergio’ and travelled around Australia. Once we had our fill of the bohemian gypsy life we decided to park our van and call the Granite Belt home.

Now we have started a family, with the arrival of our twin daughters Aria and Sophia in April 2014.

Food has always been a joy for me. I see it as something that can be celebrated and explored. As a new mummy living in a new town, I can’t wait to see how this chapter in my life unfolds and how Small Town Chutney will adapt and evolve with it.

5 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Carolyn white says:

    Hello Isabella,
    Just came to your blog while googling Nicklup orchard…. Reading away about you I recognised who your grandparents were by your description of spinning and weaving.John and Rene Hos.Your granddad taught me to spin….he even lent me his wheel to try! Fond memories ….i can see their home and vegi garden nowadays Middleton Beach.

    • Isabella says:

      Hi Carolyn. Wow that is cool. Yes you are correct about my grandparents. My dear Oma is still thriving in Albany and can you believe it, she turns 100 in a few months. I like to drive past the semi vacant block at Middleton Beach on our family holidays to look at their old place too. What a small world. Thank you for stopping by Small Town Chutney. Nicklup Orchard is a gem of a place.

  2. Sophie says:

    Hey! Just stumbled across your
    Blog… I love in Boonah and was wondering where you are…. I am a chef and herbalist and lay midwife in our little town…. Boonah. Where prey tell are you and your little family located?
    Thank you for all the good reads and feels.
    Have a beautiful week.

    • Isabella says:

      Hi Sophie. Glad you stumbled on my blog. Boonah is a great little town we love visiting. Home for me is in The Summit. It is a little village about 10 minutes north of Stanthorpe in The Granite Belt. We run a sweet handmade boutique/recycled gallery called Bridget Bunchy. A beautiful place with a beautiful community. Thank you for stopping by Small Town Chutney – Isabella

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