Daniela loves the smell of freshly baked bread and gently simmering bolognese sauce.
She trained as a chef and pastry chef in Paris. Daniela's cuisine features a range of varied yet simple recipes. Salads, pasta, soups, risottos, desserts, bread and pastries – there's something for all tastes. She focuses on simple recipes that are easy to make and provide inspiration through an exciting flavour combination or preparation technique.
On Daniela's blog (daniela CULINAIRE) you can find inspiration on the themes of food, travel and enjoying life – including recipes, culinary travel tips and fascinating stories about products and producers.
What made you take up cooking?
Even as a small child I loved eating – I was really curious and enjoyed trying new things. And I liked helping out in the kitchen too. I can honestly say that it's been a lifelong passion. The first (edible) meal that I ever made was strawberries from the garden that I mashed with a fork and mixed with yoghurt, leftover whipped cream and vanilla sugar.
What is the most memorable dish your grandma made?
My grandmother on my father's side made "Suure Mocke" – beef marinated in red wine and vinegar. Whenever we came home from a skiing holiday, we'd go to her house for lunch and she'd make "Suure Mocke" with mashed potatoes. My grandmother on my mother's side always made Lucerne-style gingerbread for St Nicholas' Day on 6 December, which we'd enjoy with very thick whipped cream.
What is your funniest cooking memory?
Once, at the end of our summer holidays in Tuscany, my mother and I went to the market to buy tomatoes so that I could make sugo. I'd planned to buy around 10 kilos of tomatoes, but the market seller was so excited about my plans that he made me a great offer that I couldn't resist. And he threw in a few more kilos on top of that. We ended up driving home with 42 kilos of tomatoes – luckily the customs officers just smiled – and I spent two whole days cooking sugo.
What was your favourite food as a child?
My mum's lasagne.
What is currently your favourite food?
Still my mum's lasagne.
What dish or ingredient have you recently rediscovered?
Capers. I've always liked them but recently I've been using them even more – such as in salads and sauces – and actually, I think they go well with almost anything.
What ingredients do you always have in the fridge?
Some kind of cheese, gherkins, anchovies, tomato puree, mustard, butter.
What food can't you stand?
I can't stand offal, unfortunately – I say unfortunately because I think that as a meat eater, I should eat everything. But I don't always like the texture or the taste.
What's the most important spice or seasoning in your kitchen? (Other than salt and pepper)
If dried bay leaves count as a spice, then bay leaves.
What can't you stand the smell of?
I don't really like the smell of whiskey or cognac.
Do you have any cans in your cupboard? And if so, which?
Yes, I have got cans in my cupboard: tinned tomatoes, sweetcorn, beans, chickpeas and tuna.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
Septime in Paris – it always leaves me feeling excited and inspired. I love everything about it: the interior, the philosophy, the dishes, the service, the atmosphere…
White wine, red wine or beer?
White wine, whether it's for an aperitif or with a meal. I'm a particular fan of Riesling. I also love sparkling wines and rosé 😊
Do you prefer to cook alone or with others?
That's a tough one… 😉 I enjoy cooking on my own, but when things are well organized and the kitchen isn't too small, it can be fun to cook with others, too.
The first (edible) meal that I ever made was strawberries from the garden that I mashed with a fork and mixed with yoghurt, leftover whipped cream and vanilla sugar.
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