... The family meal has always held a special place in the heart of Chef Diana Reis. Some of her fondest memories are of friends and relatives crowded around a table adorned with large platters of delicious food. From the vibrant colors, to the savory aromas, to the anticipation of the first bite, a good menu enhanced everything about a gathering. Diana maintained this passion when she left home to study interior design at college, cooking for roommates and friends, and adding a bit of freshness and flavor at a time when many get their meals from the microwave. After graduating and enjoying a few years harnessing her creativity in the world of design, Diana found herself missing the particular enjoyment that came with providing delicious meals to others. Soon the decision was made and she moved back to her hometown, a small farming town deep in the heart of California’s fertile Central Valley. Delicious by Design Custom Catering was formed, offering personally-tailored meals rooted in her traditional Italian cooking heritage but integrating ingredients and techniques as they were discovered by Diana. Using the skills she had developed as a designer, Diana always put time into plating and presentation, understanding that there is a visual component to good food that should not be ignored. Perhaps the most popular of Delicious by Design’s offerings was the family-style seated service, allowing her to share a little piece of the family meal experience by giving each table its own delicious platters to share. As the demand for catering increased there was an additional request for the homemade biscotti, based on a family recipe, that she served at the end of most meals. This demand lead to creation of Hottie Biscotti, a unique line of uniquely-textured twice-baked almond cookies that incorporate a variety of exciting flavors. For Diana, these cookies embodied her view of food in general, adding a slight twist and a hint of flair to a classic recipe to capture the best of the old and the new. Diana’s cooking philosophy has always been one of “approachable gourmet”. Making great food need not require years of vigorous study. By mastering some basic techniques, understanding the role of varied ingredients, and developing an eye for pairings of food by flavour and style, anyone can produce meals that will elate and impress. What Diana has started in her blog, she hopes to continue through Foody TV; bringing some knowledge, experience, and hopefully a little inspiration to make your own meals, Delicious by Design.

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