Franca Bongiorno Roberts

Franca Bongiorno Roberts

I was born in Chase farm hospital in Enfield and my parents lived in Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, amongst quite a large Italian ex-pat community. They were both from Sicily, having married in the early 60s.
My mother sadly passed away when I was 19. As an adult, my initial career was as an actress, and I had some small success, including television and film. However, my father was diagnosed with Leukaemia, bladder and prostate cancer and heart failure almost all at the same time, so I had to pull back my acting to become his full-time carer.
In 2013 I started up a platform for the children of Italian immigrants to share their experiences and enjoy the Italian culture. It is called Growing Up Italian in the UK. This community has now grown to over 16,000 of us, all actively sharing all our life experiences, making new friends, and redefining what it is to be an Anglo-Italian.
In the last year I have launched a new venture, together with my business partner, Sicilian Master-chef, Carmelo Carnivale. We aim to increase awareness of the extraordinary health benefits of Mediterranean diet, create top-notch recipes and dishes in the Mediterranaean way, and market authentic and authenticated Mediterranean produce. Our company is called ChefMĂ©d and we aim to begin trading in September.