Bringing Tastes Of History to life...

About Jill Hatch

Jill is a very experienced cook who, as a member of the Roman Military Research Society,has been testing and developing ancient recipes and preparing food for cookery demonstrations, presentations and television programmes for over a decade.  Like many great cooks she is self-taught but honed her skills catering for the men and women of both the United States Air Force and the British Army.  Today it’s mostly the “Roman army” that benefits.

Most weekends throughout the summer you will find Jill at public events across Great Britain, and sometimes in Europe, hosting practical cookery demonstrations aimed at educating both experienced cooks looking for new inspiration and complete beginners who may be surprised to discover how little has changed over 2,000 years.  These demonstrations prepare and cook those foods known to the Romans, many being introduced by them to Britain, using reproduction utensils and equipment on wood or charcoal fires.

Never an easy task at outdoor locations, Jill still manages to produce many and varied dishes drawn directly or inspired by the Roman gastronome known to us today as Apicius.  Her recipes are easy-to-follow, straightforward and realistic – quintessentially Roman, but for a modern audience.

Based at her family home in North Staffordshire, Jill spends most of her spare time researching all aspects relating to historical cuisine.  Indeed, her knowledge on food production in the Roman world matches her extensive library on subjects as diverse as agriculture, food production, animal husbandry, trade and commerce.  She enjoys cultivating some of the more unusual herbs used for both culinary and medicinal purposes – herbs that respectable cooks throughout history would be very familiar.  Jill has recently undertaken projects to dye cloth using natural plants to recreate more authentic reproduction costumes that she then wears for her cookery demonstrations.

Having completed an Open University degree in history, with an emphasis on the Classics, Jill is now working towards her Master of the Arts (MA).  She hopes to find the time soon to write her first book combining some of her favourite recipes with her passion for ancient Roman cookery.   But that, as they say, is another story...

About Mark Hatch

Mark spent 24 years in the British Army playing soldier.  He really never did grow up... now he indulges his passion for history,
especially military history, as a long-standing member of the Roman Military Research Society, and of The Hoplite Association.

Most weekends throughout the summer Mark can be found at events across Great Britain, and sometimes in Europe, portraying a “Roman legionary” or a “Greek hoplite”.  An enthusiast for history, Mark, his wife Jill, and their friends loves researching and performing practical experiments to re-create, as accurately as possible, Greco-Roman military and civil life.

Mark enjoys the challenges of supporting educational and outreach projects, for adults and children alike, delivering school talks, lectures, presentations, and of course, living history and military displays.

Having built a small medieval trebuchet, for throwing bean bags at a model castle in schools(!), Mark now has his sights on making other similar siege engines.  After all, what could possibly go wrong...