Meet Harmons Cooking School Chef Daniela Oliveira

Chef Daniela Oliveira, the instructor at our Mountain View Cooking School, came to America from Brazil, a country where “every celebration revolves around food.”

She grew up in a middle-class Brazilian family and came to America—the first time—when her husband accepted a teaching position in the US. Chef Daniela had a lot to learn when she first came to this country, including English and how to drive. Despite those obstacles she enjoyed life here, but because of her husband’s profession she ended up back in Brazil several times before the family finally settled here.

Chef Daniela has a varied and fascinating background, both as an artist and in the food business. She has a degree in fine art and is a skilled painter and has worked in other mediums as well. She ran her own catering company, and both her cooking and baking background as well as her creative artistic skills, apply to her current occupation as a cooking school chef.

To Chef Daniela, making good food means using a wise combination of flavors, using fresh ingredients, and knowing how they go together. For example, she mentions that cookies and lemonade are not a good combination, while cookies and milk definitely are.

Like most of the world, our cooking schools were greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and in order to keep offering classes, we had to get creative. The virtual format has turned out to be a great answer, as customers can cook along with our 

chefs, and a great variety of classes is offered. Chef Daniela says the new format has had its ups and downs, and while she still likes teaching classes in person, there are a lot of benefits to taking the classes virtually, including the ability to cook in your own kitchen in the comfort of your home.

Click here to find classes with Chef Daniela, as well as our other cooking school chefs,

Make sure you listen to the podcast to learn more about Chef Daniela and her fascinating past, including time spent in New Orleans. All of her travels and experiences have “flavored” her food, and she loves to share that. 

If you enjoyed this podcast, you’ll want to listen to our other episodes. You can find them here. Recent episodes include the ABCs of Bean-to-Bar Chocolate with DeAnn Wallin from Solstice Chocolate and Meal Prep and Planning Made Easy with Dietitian Genevieve Daly.

At Harmons, we’re lucky to have incredibly talented artists at each store, and we’re sure you’ve seen their amazing chalk art as you wander throughout every location. We’re excited to be able to feature some of their work as the featured art on our podcast blog. This art is the work of Randall Forbush, a seasonal artist at our Mountain View location.