I decided to take the scenic route in the life and in the kitchen as well and loving every minute of it.

Ever since I was a little girl, food was an essential part of my life and the route was marked as I evolved from being a very picky and whimsical eater to becoming a gourmand, deeply passionate about good food, entertaining and conversation around the table.

I grew up in Italy, in a region where people since ever prepare their food from scratch and take time to eat and talk about food, and families return to one another for every meal. Since I was a young girl my mother’s cooking, elegant and classic, has impressed me. Today my mother’s essence exists as the undertone of my cooking, like an incidental music.

I spent more then ten years in Paris, walking through its beautiful streets. There I fell in love with the windows of patisseries francaise. French pastry, elegant and perfect, presents itself like a precious gem in an exquisite jewel box, and I was enamored. Trading in my career as a psychologist, I began to study and devote part of my daily life to the art of pastry. Ever since, my enthusiasm and my knowledge has expanded and flourished.

Three years ago, my sweet clan (my husband and our three daughters) moved to southern California, a new life chapter began. I felt the need to hold my culinary history in one beloved projet: Atmosfera cucina, an intimate cooking school in a quiet and elegant real kitchen, balancing between the italian taste and the french flair.

When I was diagnosed celiac, my culinary world collapsed.  I lost an essential part of my  heritage, an antique language I spoke perfectly well made of traditions and memories, ingredients and flavors: suddenly I had no voice, I felt mute. Some days passed, some dinners ended and after few weeks without gluten I felt better than I was in the last two years. Instead of feeling angry for the foods I was missing, constantly mourning for the bread who didn’t  taste like the “real bread”, I started to go with the flow.

Naturally my culinary world needed to be adapted to a complete gluten free lifestyle. A new worlds of flours and flavors must be discovered and so I was excited (… and sometimes discouraged…) starting to play with different ingredients, some of them I already worked with but my strategy was to replace a portion of the wheat flour with a new flour to create a more interesting and flavored rich cake (or biscuits or bread). Now my gf lifestyle pushed me to treating them as not just a substitution but as main character, without the support of the wheat.

Reinvented and recreated the timeless recipes I grew up with, in a gluten free version was my priority.

Welcome to my kitchen

Daniela

Ps. If you walk trough the website, you will find my blog, Calme et Cacao. I write it mostly in italian and it is part of my life since several years. When I’m nostalgic I open that door and a part of world comes to me. If you would like to have one of the recipes, just send me an email.