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The glimmering thought of YaDa Chef was in 1999, but YaDa Chef was not born until 2000 when I partnered with Bryan Daniel. Bryan is the baking genius in our kitchen. YaDa is the combination of two surnames, Daniel and Yacino. Obviously I am the “Ya” and Bryan is the “Da”. We also like to think of it as a double positive meaning “yes, yes chef”. Please do not say to Bryan or me “yada, yada, yada”!
I grew up with a father of Italian descent and a mother of Polish descent…okay enough of the jokes! Food was a very important part of our daily lives. My Nanna has to have been the only Italian Grandmother that did not cook! She had the recipes, which she passed on and critiqued to the daughters in law, but cook, no! My basic recipes and knowledge of Italian, Neapolitan food was from my mother passing on my dear Nonna’s recipes and critiques. Babci (maternal grandmother) was a terrific cook and had a passion for it. My love of Polish/Eastern European food shows that. Babci liked to leave out that one so important ingredient, ensuring no one could cook like her. After much practice I think I have found the missing ingredients.
Training in England, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Scotland, as well as the United States, has helped me capture the classic and regional styling of many countries.