Greetings epicurean gods and goddesses!
Romancing the Table™ is dedicated to exploring the key ingredients romantic dining, destinations, healthy Mediterranean recipes and cooking, love relationships and epicurean stories that delight the palette, heart and soul.
Welcome to my blog. My name is Cynthia Daddona. I am a 45 year-old American Italian-Greek newlywed, Mediterranean goddess cook and author of the popular book Diary of A Modern Day Goddess. I live in Santa Barbara, California, which has a Mediterranean and climate and an abundance of healthy produce. My husband James, who is an American-Greek husband James, is a talented producer of Ancient Greek documentaries and a very appreciative taste tester. I enjoy sharing with others what I am passionate about which is exploring and celebrating all things related to nurturing the soul, healthy Mediterranean cooking, recipes, romantic dining, travel destinations, love relationships, epicurean stories and atmospheres that delight the palette, heart and soul. I am delighted to write this blog and use my journalist background, humor and communication skills to convey my love of these topics in an informative, inspiring and entertaining way for my audiences.
Here are answers to some questions you might have:
Explain modern day goddess?
To me a modern day goddess, is a woman in touch with her inner joy and essence and I feel experiencing nurturing and healthy and delicious cuisines is very healing for oneself and your loved ones. My book Diary of A Modern Day Goddess ™ (www.moderndaygoddess.com) is a lighthearted guide to creating a life that nurtures your body, mind and soul. (An amazon.com top seller that is published by HCI, publishers of the successful Chicken Soup for the soul series). www.moderndaygoddess.com
I feel we are all modern day gods and goddesses but may have forgotten due to stress and in today hectic world anything we can do to bring balance back into our lives is will contribute to feeling fulfilled and living a longer life. I view cooking and eating healthy as another way to nurture one’s soul. Throw in some wonderful recipes and atmospheres and we can all feel like gods and goddesses!
Why the title Romancing the Table with Modern Day Goddess Cynthia Daddona?
Food and Romance go hand and hand and I wanted to combine sumptuous recipes, enchanting evenings, great date night dinners with the wisdom I’ve learned from experts and many of my peers in the industry on how to have wonderful, long lasting relationships with those you love.
Why Mediterranean Cuisine?
I enjoy creating recipes that are Mediterranean inspired from the key ingredients to that I like to experiment with are lemon, garlic, olive oil (extra virgin is the best) and a variety of herbs from parsley, basil, mint, spearmint and oregano. Besides having an Italian-Greek heritage, I became even more fascinated with the Mediterranean cuisine, especially the Cretan diet of Vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, potatoes, olive oil, fish and low intake of meat and dairy, when I discovered that it contributed to living longer life. Of course, the Mediterranean lifestyle of naturally organic produce, siestas and simplified living also played a significant role. I also have a wheat-gluten sensitivity and have learned how to cook wheat free in may instances. I am appreciative to the delicious rice pastas and products that are now becoming readily available.
My Mediterranean Travels:
I am also attracted to beautiful Aegean Sea, the romantic tavernas, the delicious cuisines, the wonderful music, culinary aromas, the warmth of the people, the beauty of the architecture, the history and atmospheres that the Mediterranean has to offer. To me the Mediterranean is naturally romantic!
My Mediterranean background:
I have an Italian and several years ago discovered my Greek background which might explain my fascination and skill in cooking or dining on Mediterranean inspired cuisine. I was brought up with a father who growing up was very much into healthy eating and a mother and grandmother who never let a single soul in their house go without a good meal. This might explain why my cooking is Mediterranean inspired and often with a healthy twist.
My Greek-Italian heritage comes from my Grandfather, on my father’s side who was from Beneviento (Italy) which is a former Greek colony. The name Daddona traces back to the ancient town of Dodoni (Epirus; NW Greece) as confirmed by Scholars at UCSB.
Just like Julia Child became a better cook once she married her husband who enjoyed good food — This has been a big influence on me. My skill in cooking has blossomed over the past two years ever since I began a relationship with my true love at age 42! (If it happened to me at this age, it can also happen to you.) My sweetheart also happens to be a Greek-American and is the best appreciative taste-tester a goddess could ever imagine. There is nothing like an appreciative audience to make the satisfaction of one’s cooking soar even higher. I am also blessed by my Italian mother, my late grandmothers, my grandfather (an Italian with Greek roots) and and my husband’s Greek mother, sisters, grandmother (97!) and Aunt who are great cooks and it has been a joy to teach and inspire one another at ethnic gatherings with delicious food. PS. My husband make it a point to eat a great Greek salad eat everyday and our first party we ever gave together was a Big, Fat, Greek Olympic viewing party that ended up in our local paper when the Olympics where in Greece. We served souvlaki, dolmathes, baklava and Greek salad of course.
A Mediterranean Proposal and Marriage:
My husband and I love all things Mediterranean. When we were on a production trip to film museums for his documentary on Ancient Greece (www.celebrategreece.com) and my experience of taking a destination cooking class with Mama Agata in Ravello Italy (see 3 minute video at (www.moderndaygoddess.com) in the website media lounge)– He proposed on the Almalfi Coast in Positano at a very romantic dinner at Hotel Sirenuse. When it came time to marry we chose a destination wedding for two in Santorini, Greece. It was a traditional Greek village ceremony where the two of us rode on donkey through the small town to the church. We then returned home to celebrate with a traditional reception back in Santa Barbara where
we had a Big Fat Italian-Greek wedding reception. I designed the Italian-Greek menu, decor of Olive Leaves on tables, the centerpieces and even in my bouquet in both countries. I blended Italian and Greek cuisine, music, traditions and relative and our friends for a a wonderful event. There is nothing like watching your wedding guests dance to Zorba the Greek followed by the Italian Tarantella after they eaten homemade baklava and canolinis.
A Greek Island Cooking Class and Greek Island Wedding Documentary:
Everyone enjoyed the romantic video of our romantic wedding in Santorini, Greece that we showed at our reception so much that we have been inspired to turn it into a documentary for destination travelers, diners and future destination brides. I also attended a cooking class highlighting delicious mediterranean cuisine along with some history all served overlooking the beautiful Agean sea. To see a trailer of The Goddess and The G(r)eek™ Greek Island Wedding and to buy a DVD or download a video of the Greek Island Cooking class go to my website http://www.moderndaygoddess.com/ and click on the media lounge. You can also view the videos at http://www.celebrategreece.com/. We recently received great news that the Greek Island Destination Cooking class ranks in the Top Ten in video downloads on amazon.com.
What is your training?
A journalist, author who loves good food. Several years ago, I finally realized I did have some sort of genetic blessing that my grandmothers and mother possessed in their ability abilities to harness their inner goddess cook that know what ingredients may be missing in a dish and how to create delicious meals in the mother and grandmothers in the kitchen. And today, I enjoy sharing my passion for cuisine with my Italian and Greek friends and relatives and friends who share the same passions. I want to share the recipes, stories, Mediterranean travels and inspirations that create and have created my culinary world. I’ve taken cooking classes here in Santa Barbara and in Italy and in Greece. I love taking destination cooking classes that embrace the culture such as Mama Agata’s in Ravello, Italy and Ristorante Selena in Santorini, Greece. I am always on the outlook for great cooking classes that enhance a travel experience so feel free to email with any suggestions.
Throughout high school I worked in an Italian restaurant in Stamford, Connecticut as the bread and cannoli girl where I served the bread and the cannolis. My job was to fill the pastry shells in the back so they would stay fresh. This holiday season my husband and I hosted 23 of his Greek relatives and we enjoyed an Italian-Greek Christmas. Everyone brought a Greek dish and for an Italian-Greek touch for desert we ate kourambiethes, baklavas and for an Italian touch I filled my own canolis with ricotta and mascarpone that were inspired by the ones served at my wedding. My college education is in Broadcasting and Journalism from the Univ. of Florida in Gainesville. Besides being and author, I have a background as stand-up comedian and lifestyle, entertainment and travel TV, radio and print journalist. I’ve won several writing awards and a Telly Award, Most innovative for my past TV hosting-producing work. I wrote my first restaurant review on restaurants in Old Greenwich, CT for The Greenwich Magazine in 1990. I also included my mother’s recipe for Lasagna with a modern day twist in my book Diary of Modern Day Goddess. It was my first published recipe.
Food and Love:
When I am preparing a meal or dining experience I think about what I would like my company or sweetheart to experience. I like to infuse thoughts of love, joy and happy anticipation into the act of cooking or getting ready. I feel positive energy directed in this way is a key ingredient. I also think about the recipe and the many generations of cooks who may have made the recipe in their kitchen. I’ve experienced feeling the love from a meal many times, whether I was eating a meal my grandmother loving made, a chef joyfully cooked or food that was blessed and chanted at a monastery. Research is also showing that food is eaten mindfully, not while watching TV or very quickly, provides us all with a more tasteful, healthier digestion and joyful experience.
As I discuss when I give talks and through the tips on in my book Diary of A Modern Day Goddess, the place to begin is self-love. Nurturing one’s inner spirit, beauty and body, mind and soul. Making healthy and soothing food for oneself is very nurturing. Then sharing it with those you love is another extension of love. I believe in easy, delicious and healthy cuisine and that where I feel Romancing the Table can help.
Romancing the Table:
“Food made and served with love can create something that is beyond the food. It creates a connection to the heart….” An epicurean Modern Day Goddess insight from Cynthia Daddona http://www.moderndaygoddess.com/.
I believe you can romance a table not only with heavenly cuisines but also with one’s inner beauty, joy, expression of love for what you are serving, experiencing, the person or people at your table. It’s also about providing positive energy to a dining experience – which begins within you and your positive intention and love. Then you can dress up the plate, yourself, the atmosphere with location, music, candles, flowers, the table with color and decor, etc. Of course, good conversation, positive acknowledgement of the person, the food, the cook, yourself and the blessings in your life can add to the romance and love of it all.
TV, radio, books, multi-media
On the Red Carpet at the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival:
In the course of my career as a journalist, I’ve interviewed over 100 top celebrities and recently had the honor and privilege of interviewing Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis, Melina Kanakaredes (CSI NY) and Michael Constantine (My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding), at the 1st Annual Los Angeles Greek Film Festival, where we talked about Greek films, culture and their favorite Greek food, (clips can be seen at http://www.celebrategreece.com/
and http://www.moderndaygoddess.com/) What a wonderful event.
My film festival interviews were also picked up by about.com (owned by the NYTimes). It has the stars favorite Greek food and recipes. Go to about.com to see the article complete with the site’s recipes. http://greekfood.about.com/od/discovergreekfood/tp/stars_picks.htm
I am also working on a book in which I plan to communciate through several media outlets to express my work – especially radio and TV. I was recently highlighted for an hour on Martha Stewart Living radio on Sirius Radio on a show hosted by Victoria Moran – author of Creating a Charmed Life.
I also host my radio show Romancing the Table: a celebration
of life, love and food on the voiceamerica.com network. (1.3 million listeners) As a first time newlywed in my forties, I explore my passion as a Mediterranean home cook with a passion for romantic date nights.
My past book Diary of A Modern Day Goddess (www.moderndaygoddess.com) is an amazon.com top seller that is available in most book stores and was just released in the UK. It was called “Lighthearted Enlightenment” by the LA Times and offers essays, practical tip on how to feel like a goddess inside and out. As I mentioned above, in this book I included my mother’s lasagna recipe and called it Modern Day Goddess Lasagna on the go – because it could be put together within 30 minutes (and that was written before Rachel Ray’s 30 min. meals became popular). The recipe also has a vegetarian version as well. (That’s for you dad!)
I really enjoy the experience of receiving positive feedback on how my work has made a difference in people’s lives, especially women. My readers and their questions about love, romance, living life in balance and Mediterranean and California cuisine recipes plus their sheer excitement, encouragement and interest in me authoring a blog and book have provided great joy for me. My intention is to provide inspiring and entertaining information, recipes and wisdom about food, romance, cooking and dining. Plus stories that will soothe your soul and delight your taste buds.
How can I get in touch with you? My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. My website is My blog address is http://www.romancingthetable.blogspot.com/. Feel free to send me your comments, and stories and I will do my best to respond to everyone. I especially love hearing about a wonderful time you shared with others around the table. Please allow time for me to answer. Thank you for reading my blog. Enjoy!