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#WeWantToKnow: Diala Canelo of Diala's Kitchen

#WeWantToKnow: Diala Canelo of Diala's Kitchen

Before entering into a conversation with Diala Canelo I strongly suggest you fuel up to a full stomach, because speaking with this food blogger is bound to make you hungry! I had just eaten prior to our phone call, and still, Pavlov's dog had nothing on me! Diala is a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef with a passion for both cooking and baking, and she shares her sweet confections and savoury recipes on her blog Diala's Kitchen. I consider myself a foodie so it was a real treat getting to know Diala and it's my pleasure to introduce her to you.

Diala grew up in the Dominican Republic, in a household that promoted healthy eating, and though she would eventually attend McGill University in Montreal to study nutrition and dietetics, she didn't yet know how to cook. It was during her time at university that she took the initiative to learn how to cook on her own and right away she loved it. Her culinary skills would be honed further still after moving to Mexico City, where she attended Le Cordon Bleu and completed her pastry diploma. The origins of Diala's Kitchen are rooted in Mexico City – she was inspired by the beautiful Mexican architecture and began photo-documenting it and sharing on her Instagram account as a creative outlet; equally beautiful was the food she ate so it was a natural next step for her to share food photos, and eventually that led to the creation of her blog where she tells the stories behind the photos, with recipes to accompany the mouth-watering meals.

Diala loves to travel, so she's well-suited to her job as a flight attendant. Frequent multi-day stopovers allow her to discover local flavours and the opportunity to experiment with new and different spices that she can bring back home and use in her own cooking. Of all the international foods she's had the opportunity to taste, Diala's favourite is “modern Australian” cuisine – an eclectic mix of foods from other cultures around the world infused with traditional tastes of Australia; she particularly loved their grilled shrimp with lemongrass and chilies. Not only is it her favourite cuisine to eat, she gushed with admiration over how well-presented Australian dishes are served.

When she's not traveling, Diala is enjoying all that the Toronto food scene has to offer, the city that she now calls home. Toronto has a ton of really great coffee shops and restaurants, top-rated chefs and restauranteurs. I wanted to know what her “food map” of the perfect gastronomic day in Toronto looks like; here's how she would eat and drink her way across Toronto:

The first stop of the day would be breakfast/brunch at Saturday Dinette. On the east side of Toronto, this spot serves Diala's favourite cuisine – Australian fare.

Next, she will head over to Sam James at the south end of Trinity Bellwoods park for a mid-morning coffee break.

For lunch, Diala will head over to Chabrol in Yorkville. If you get a chance to go, she recommends ordering the Apple Tarte with Calvados Sabayon.

Diala would then have an early dinner at her favourite restaurant, Bar Raval, where she'll enjoy a traditional and authentic Spanish meal, most likely ordering the Hot Octopus (her favourite menu selection).

The evening would end with a stop at Hitch for a drink. Her poison? A gin & tonic.

Sounds like the perfect day, doesn't it? It's certainly made me hungry! Diala has so much knowledge of the Toronto food scene, and luckily for us she plans on incorporating more of her recommendations on her blog in the form of city guides – where to go for the best coffee, the best tapas, the best farmer's markets, etc.. And because of her extensive travel, she will also share this content not just for Toronto, but for cities around the world.

You can follow Diala's Kitchen blog on Want.Canada to stay up to date on all her latest blog posts. She loves finding great articles from other food bloggers and saving recipes to try out later – she's since come across a chocolate cake recipe that she made with her daughter one afternoon, and I can attest to how delicious it is because she in turn inspired me to make it! Create your account on Want.Canada so you can be inspired to start reading, saving and sharing what you want! 

Want more? Here's what #WeWantToKnow about Diala:

I can't start my morning without... a latte, or two plus crossfit when I'm not traveling.

I have a weakness for... fish tacos.

Most people don't know that I... turn to baking as a way to relieve stress. Best therapy!

Currently reading... I have 3 books on the go. Blog Inc. by Joy Cho, You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero, and Love, Style, Life by Garance Doré. 

I want... to explore the Melbourne and Berlin coffee scene early next year. 

Thank you, Diala, for participating in our We Want To Know series! 

#WeWantToKnow is a series published on behalf of Wantfolio Group for Want.Canada and showcases and supports the leaders and talent in the Canadian creative arts community. Visit Want.Canada for all Canadian news, blogs, photo sharing & messaging. 

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