“I have always loved cooking…It was my father’s passion in the kitchen that inspired me to pursue and master many Italian classics, making traditional dishes as well as more experimental ones.”

For many children, their parents are their heroes, and are usually the ones that would play a significant role in the path they take in the future. For Chef Daniele, this was the motivating factor why he started his profession in cooking. Chef Daniele’s journey with food started since he was young, and it was the weekly homemade traditional Italian dishes which his Father cooked inspired him to master this cuisine. Today, Chef Daniele is bringing the truest Italian experience with authentic Italian food through his classes to the community – sharing his passion and bonding people through food!

Hi Daniele, can you introduce yourself to our community and tell us more about the experiences that you offer through Verlocal?

I am a Florence-born, Austin-based Italian chef. I honed my experience for almost a decade, offering cooking classes and private dinners to tourists and American students visiting Italy for their first time. I recently moved to Austin, offering cooking lessons, catering for events and home-cooked personal dinners.

Tell us about your background: When did you first become inspired to do what you love?

From my first failed attempt to make tortellini at the tender age of seven, I followed in the footsteps of my father, who was the earliest and biggest influence in the kitchen. It was his passion and creativity that inspired me to pursue and master many Italian classics.

What does your passion mean to you?

It means simply being able to do what I love most for a living! I am a pretty lucky guy ?

What made you want to pursue your passion and become a host?

Being able to teach my clients about the true Italian passion for food, wine, and life in general. During lessons, I focus not just on technique, but also how important food culture is, to learn to prepare your food well, from fresh and locally-sourced ingredients as much as possible, and how this has a huge personal and cultural impact.

How would you describe the link between your classes and the community around you?

I feel there is a want for authentic Italian food, there aren’t many places that offer it and here I am.

What are your favorite dish and the story behind it?

It’s hard to answer this question, I like so many things! Perhaps I have to go with homemade pizza. It took me almost 10 years to master this recipe. It sums up what Italian cuisine is all about: lots of hard work and patience, but the results are totally worth it.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to learn more about your passion?

I would advise them to travel to Italy and explore several regions. People don’t realize how varied Italian food is: in western Sicily they make couscous and in Sardinia the influence of Catalan cuisine is evident.

How long have you been living in Austin? What are some insider tips you’d like to recommend to someone who just moved to the city?

I have been living in Austin for a few months. I love the outdoors and I am lucky enough to live by Lake Travis. I enjoy going to Zilker Park, Oasis and to a great little brewery near Lake Travis, called Infamous Brewery.

What is your favorite moment/story you’ve had between you and your students?

At a private dinner, one of the guests asked me I could have her 12-year old son help me out in the kitchen. I said sure, why not. So I cooked the dinner with him and it was a great experience. The boy was so smart and receptive to my teaching, and the food came out amazing! After that, his mother asked me to start doing cooking classes for him and his friends.

What are your goals for the future?

I hope to grow more as a business and get more ongoing gigs. One day, I would love to have my own little restaurant ?

Any recommendations for someone who might want to start their own business?

Build a nice website, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars, there are plenty of good website platforms out there. Join local small business associations and promote your business through various platforms and local neighbour groups. Be creative and offer something unique!

What does Verlocal mean to you?

It is a great opportunity to showcase my business. Verlocal is amazing because it promotes you through their marketing!

Share one quote that resonates with you the most and what it means for you?

“We all eat, and it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly.” – Anna Thomas

Experience the truest Italian experience today! Share with us the story of your cooking journey and comment below before March 31, 2017! One lucky commenter will have the chance to meet Chef Daniele and attend a Traditional Italian Cooking Class for FREE.

If you are a host on Verlocal and would love to feature on host spotlight, send us an email at [email protected] with a short paragraph about why you want to be featured!

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