Ciao, I’m Daniela.
As the youngest of five children, cooking was a skillset my Mother insisted I learn. I wasn’t quite 5 years old and could barely reach the stove top but that was irrelevant so long as I could form a perfectly round meatball. I suppose I should have felt I was missing out – spending so much time in the kitchen while my friends played outside, but I am happy and proud to have learned the greatest lesson that has played a pivotal role in shaping who I am as a woman and professional.
My Nonna is the other woman I learned to cook from. Nonna lived in Italy so when we visited her every year after the many hours of flights and train rides to her seaside home in Gioiosa Ionica, Calabria, she was more encouraging about us running off to the beach than making sure we cook all the time (that was the responsibility she bestowed upon my Mother). Nonna was a strong woman – perhaps the strongest I’ve ever met. I’ll be sure to share her story in another article.
It was in Italy through our daily deliveries of freshly caught fish, warm ricotta, fresh produce and the many trips to the mill to pick up flour for our pasta and bread making, that I learned what seasonal freshness and farm (or Sea) to table truly mean. I suppose it’s where my respect for fresh quality ingredients comes from, and it’s the very reason I truly do love spending time in the kitchen preparing those traditional homecooked dishes we rarely see today.
This art of traditional home cooking is referred to in Italian as CUCINA CASERECCIA – and it’s one only few today, are authentically familiar with.
I moved To Cambridge almost three years ago. After 40+ years of living in a Metropolis where I studied Law and followed a career in jewellery design because Law didn’t quite provide me the creativity I longed for, it was time to explore a new place and while getting a one-way ticket to Italy would have been my ideal choice, timing seems to make certain to halt your life sometimes. Instead, I moved an hour from Toronto where this charming early 1800’s town has so much European flair to offer.
In many ways, this town is my little Italia. It’s where I get to cook to my heart’s content and share my passion for authentic traditional Italian cooking with my community.
It’s also where I’ve earned the opportunity to convey this passion by cooking in people’s homes. And I have no words other than GRAZIE MILLE. There is no greater joy than that of bringing people together to experience an aromatic celebration of food wine and love.
I’ve always been the entertainer, and it was always my home everyone gathered at to celebrate birthdays and holidays. Never did or could I imagine all those years of doing what I simply loved and enjoyed, would lead to me doing MORE of what truly brings me as much joy as I bring to others.
There’s a lot of amazing things to come. I’ll be doing a lot of cooking in your home for your special occasions, teaching classes, sharing stories, and toasting our loved ones who’ve inspired us to share their legacy with others.
Join me, won’t you?