Renee and Daniela first met in a classroom, not as students but as educators. Brought together by their day jobs, these two colleagues quickly became friends over a common interest: food.
It all started innocently enough: sampling and swapping recipes, sharing kitchen tips and tricks. Then they got the wise idea to open a monthly cafe with their students selling coffee and desserts to school staff. The project seemed a little daunting at first; after all, their kitchen staff was elementary school children with special needs. From that very first venture, however, “let’s go for it!” became their mantra. They went for it and that monthly cafe has been running for over 7 years now.
When CBC television asked people to pitch their best recipe ideas for a show called Rags to Riches, again Renee and Daniela said, “Let’s go for it!” They planned to adapt their scone recipe that they had been using in the cafe and created a hilarious video as part of their entry. The show got cancelled. That scone recipe and the video still remain a secret.
When a cafe owner in Guelph, Ontario decided to give away one of her cafe locations by means of a contest, Renee and Daniela responded with, you guessed it, “Let’s go for it!” They took road trips to every cafe worth a bean in southern Ontario as part of their research and produced yet another awesome video (in their humble opinion). The contest, however, got cancelled. The friends were starting to see a pattern.
When, as consolation for this disappointing turn of events, they got the idea to drive 150 km to Toronto each Saturday to take culinary classes part-time, of course they said, “Let’s go for it!” An idea was forming. It was clear that attempts to seize outside opportunities were not going to be the way forward for these foodie friends. They were going to have to create their own opportunity, one dirty dish at a time.
In 2018, Renee became certified as a Culinary Nutrition Expert through the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. After years of defining and refining the dream, it is time. Renee and Daniela are very excited to introduce The Grateful Plate. This latest and greatest idea is a culmination of everything they love: honest to goodness, real food, teaching and sharing what they know.
Let’s go for it.
Headshots by Anne Bedard Photography