I love this annual event. Four days for live, taste and share the haute cousine of Rome.

Taste of Roma, we are ready to go and you?



Fermentazioni, the festival of craft beer in Rome.

We are ready to go, and you?

I’m so proud and I thank you all my dear students-friends from all over the world for appreciating so much my Cooking School and to have this happen through their reviews!


A special thank you to the TRAVELMASSIVE magazine for their article about the online cooking classes through “The Chef and The Dish”, where you can learn how to cook fantastic Italian dishes.

This article helps in explaining the simplicity of taking a cooking class online, but more importantly, learning from it.




I just wanted to give a big thank you to Katie Parla for mentioningDaniela’s Cooking School on the Rome guide she wrote for Saveur magazine. Check out the link below to see more of her recommendations.


Daniela’s Cooking School:
Taking a cooking class with Daniela Del Balzo feels like learning to cook from your sweetest friend. Guests begin with a trip to the nearby Testaccio Market to shop for ingredients, then return to Daniela’s beautiful home on the Aventine Hill to prepare and eat a full meal. She is supremely hospitable and an excellent teacher, so her classes book up well in advance.

Aventino, Rome, Italy


Thank you so much to Susan Van Allen for including Daniela’s Cooking School on this interesting article on AFAR

“In Daniela Cooking Class , I learned the carciofi alla Giudia essentials. the lesson began at the Testaccio market, where, from late February to early May, stalls overflow with Carciofi Romaneschi, a small, round, purple-tinged artichoke that happens to be the best variety for making carciofi alla Giudia. Though traditional eateries all over the city prepare them well, every Roman (including Daniela) believes that to have the most authentic experience of this speciality, you must go to its place of origin- Rome’s Jewish ghetto.”


van-allen-bookI’m delighted that my cooking classes are featured in Susan Van Allen’s new book, Fifty Places in Rome, Florence, and Venice Every Woman Should Go.

Susan’s book features a range of places to visit and activities to take part in across three of Italy’s most exciting cities, and all aimed at women. My cooking classes are one of the recommended activities for Rome.

To find out more about the book (and to see me listed!), take a look at this taster on the Fox News website:

Top 10 Places for Women in Rome, Florence, and Venice.


Over the years I’ve met some fascinating people through Daniela’s Cooking School. This September I had the pleasure of hosting Mark Bittman, food columnist for the New York Times, when he came to my kitchen to interview me and taste some traditional Roman dishes. It was meant to be a short interview, but as it turned out, we chatted for more than an hour. Then, when I mentioned that I was on my way to Testaccio market, he came along with me and I had a lot of fun showing him around and introducing him to some of the stallholders.

He was very interested in the story of the cooking school and in Italian food in general, and we had a wonderful chat. The magic of food is at its best at these times, combining cookery with conversation! Afterwards he left the message above in my guestbook.

Daniela teaching

Daniela has been teaching cooking classes for seven years now, and when it comes to mistakes in the kitchen she has seen it all. Here’s a list of the top five mistakes she sees people make.

5) Leaving jewellery on while cooking. While in the kitchen you need to be ready to get messy! Whether it is making pasta, flavoring meat, or rolling balls of supplì, your hands can be the most essential tool in the kitchen. Not only can rings, bracelets, and long necklaces be ruined by food if not removed, but they can also add some unwanted flavors to dishes, especially delicate ones. There’s also the possibility of adding unwanted germs to the food.

4) Overcooking pasta. Daniela always cooks her pasta for two to four minutes less than the package recommends. The perfect pasta is always cooked al dente. Overcooking will just give you mushy pasta, and is actually harder for the body to digest and less healthy.

3) Using too much stuffing. When making a stuffed dish, always add a little less stuffing than you think is necessary. When the food cooks, the stuffing will expand while the outer layer shrinks. If meat, fish, calamari, or even zucchini blossoms are overstuffed, a stuffing explosion will occur and the meat or fish will break and become tough.

2) Overcrowding a pan. This is a classic mistake. Cooking takes time and patience and this often means needing to cook food in batches. Food needs space to cook properly and evenly in a pan. Overcrowding can lead to unequal cooking times and food that is either under or over cooked. This rule is even more important when frying food. Adding too much food to hot oil will lower the temperature of the oil, which means you’ll need to fry the food for longer. This will leave your food soggy and wet instead of crispy and golden.

1) The biggest mistake Daniela sees in the kitchen is chopping garlic. Garlic has a dominant flavor that can easily overpower food. Daniela hardly ever adds chopped garlic to a dish; instead she leaves the clove in the skin (or in Italian, “in camicia”, literally meaning in its shirt) and adds it to hot oil or sauce to infuse the garlic flavor. Just don’t forget to remove the clove before serving! If she wants a slightly stronger garlic flavor, Daniela will cut the clove once in half exposing the ‘soul’ or white part of the garlic. This white part is very bitter and strong and will definitely be enough to give your dish a potent garlic flavor.

The most important thing to remember when cooking is to relax and have fun! Cooking is all about bringing friends and family together to talk, laugh and enjoy each other’s company. If there are smiles and full bellies at the end of a meal you know your cooking was a success.



We’re pleased to be featured as one of 15 reasons to visit Rome in the March issue of Olive Magazine. Thank you Katie Parla for including the school in your write up!