When I was young, friends at school called me Daniela Mortadella and Daniela Mozzarella because I could not stop talking about food. At home, where I was known as just Daniela, my mother always told me not to play with my food at the dinner table. Fast-forward to today: I have a deep appreciation for cuisine, specifically traditional European cuisine, that not only includes writing about it, but eating it, sharing it, and developing my own home-cooking techniques. (Thanks Mom, for letting me play with my food at the dinner table!)
As a first generation Italian-American, I have a natural love not only for Italy, but for promoting and preserving my Italian heritage, its fascinating language, culture, traditions, architecture, landscape and of course, its food. As a young child, I remember watching my parents cook, and enjoying these home-cooked meals around a table with my family. As I grew older, I discovered my own passion for cooking coming to life. I began experimenting in the kitchen. Of course, I made mistakes while trying new things–and learned from them. When I gained enough confidence, I challenged myself to take a cooking course in Umbria, Italy. While in Italy, I discovered how to embrace the culture and food, and appreciate a different pace of life–one I could only experience by using my five senses. I remember one hot and humid day, as I sat sipping my espresso, listening to the sound of mopeds zipping along the cobblestone roads, I spotted a child pressing his face against the glass of the gelato stand. I’ll never forget the expression he had, looking endlessly at the chocolate gelato as if his entire world depended on it. At that moment, it clicked! I realized, that my life too, depended on that gelato. I thought to myself, I cannot go another day without sharing my love and passion for food with the universe.
I often reflect on what food represents, what it means to me. How it not only fills a stomach but creates a smile. How it encourages people to come together to share ideas and converse. Food has the power to bring people to a moment in time and create a memory.
Armed with my imagination, inspiration, and an education, I launched this blog. Hungry to find a home for the restaurants I frequent, my travel and food travels, adventures in the kitchen, to tips for finding your own fearlessness as a home cook, and so much more.
Though my formal academic training (in international management, marketing and italian studies) took place in New York City, my education in cuisine happens everywhere I go. From the fish market of Tokyo to the bountiful cafes of Paris, I source inspiration all over the world in order to share my love for food and travel with you here on this blog. I hope you find creativity and inspiration, not only through recipes that feed your appetite but also a passion that feeds your mind and soul. Because, in a world that is moving much too fast, I find that all you have to do to slow down is enjoy a simple, home-cooked meal around a table with those you love.
Peace, Love, Gelato,