Happy Friday, Cowes! Today, we shine light on Diala of Diala’s Kitchen, this powerhouse inspires us through her quick and delicious recipes, her travels and most importantly, her incredible spirit. Diala’s loyal (and massive) following on IG exists because Diala is talented beyond measure. Not only does she create her own content, she shoots it and writes it too!
Diala has just released her first cookbook and I am so obsessed. Her recipes are inspired by her favourite places around the world and I love the stories that come along with them.
Scroll on to discover Diala’s journey and don’t forget to check out her book here or here
Give us your elevator pitch — tell us a bit about yourself. We want to know what you and Diala’s Kitchen are all about.
My name is Diala Canelo, I’m a cookbook author, and the voice behind the blog/Instagram Diala’s kitchen where I share simple and flavourful vegetarian and pescatarian recipes inspired by my travels.
#LocalLove is all about showing love to small businesses and people of influence like yourself. Can you share with us what made you decide to start documenting your moments in the kitchen?
My love for food started when I moved to Canada from the Dominican Republic. Over the years, cooking and baking became a way for me to share my passion for food with my family and friends, but it wasn’t until I was attending pastry school at Le Cordon Bleu, that I started documenting the pastries that I was baking, and the recipes that I was developing in my kitchen through Instagram. Soon after, I decided to start a blog where I could share not only recipes, but my love for travel as well.
How did you get into cooking?
I started cooking when I moved to Montreal to attend university. My weekends were spent experimenting with all kinds of recipes, and cooking became an outlet. A way of self-expression and a way to show love to the people in my life. More formal training came years after when I had the opportunity to attend Le Cordon Bleu for their pastry and bread programs.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (career or otherwise)?
The best advice I’ve ever been given has been to appreciate all of the things we already have. I think we live in a world that constantly pushes to get more when in reality we have so much already. If you wake up everyday, healthy, surrounded by caring family and friends, you already have everything.
How about the worst?
To choose a career that’s “safe”.
If you could paint your ideal life, what would that look like in 5-10 years from now?
I’m living my ideal life right now. 7 years ago, I came back to Toronto after having lived in Mexico City for a few years. Recently separated and being a mom of two, life for a while was very stressful. Looking back, everything I went through has put me where I am today. So, I couldn’t ask for more. I just released my first cookbook, I own my own business, and have a beautiful family.
What are your favourite resources that you’ve come across over the years (e.g., email extensions, design apps etc.)?
I love photography, so any apps and programs that help me edit are without a doubt some of my favourite resources. Lightroom (desktop and mobile) is my go-to.
Who are 3 of your favourite Canadian entrepreneurs that our readers should absolutely be in the know about?
Kayla Rocca. Her creativity when it comes to photography and storytelling through videography is simply unparalleled.
Eden Hagos. As the founder and of Black Foodie. An online platform that highlights African and Caribbean food, Eden creates events to bring people together to experience Black food.
Kathleen Newman-Bremang. Using our voices is crucial. Now more than ever. Kathleen’s writing is an inspiration for all of us.
Tell us about your latest cookbook, Diala’s Kitchen and what’s next for Diala’s Kitchen?!
My cookbook Diala’s Kitchen, is a collection of over a hundred vegetarian and pescatarian recipes inspired by my travels. The recipes are vibrant and flavourful, but they are also simple to make. I believe that for you to have a healthy and delicious meal, you don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen. The book also has 6 travel essays from cities that not only have inspired the way I cook but the way I live as well.
Visit our Local Love highlight to explore more Toronto-based talent.