Danielle Duran-Zecca explains new age Italian food and competing on The Globe, interview

Contestant Danielle Duran-Zecca cooking process, as seen on The Globe, Season 1. Photo provided by Food Network
Contestant Danielle Duran-Zecca cooking process, as seen on The Globe, Season 1. Photo provided by Food Network /

While she might have scored a win on Kitchen Casino, Danielle Duran-Zecca is rolling the dice on the new competition, The Globe. Whether or not the final result brings a trip to an exotic locale, this new Food Network show inspires some culinary creativity on the plate.

Recently, FoodSided spoke to Danielle Duran-Zecca about her experience on The Globe, the concept of New Age Italian and food trends. Blending cooking techniques and her heritage, her culinary point of view has many people taking notice.

Although there are many culinary terms and descriptions, New Age Italian isn’t necessarily a food style that is found on some restaurant menus. But, the concept is more familiar than what people might realize.

According to Chef Danielle, “New Age Italian is about not staying in between the lines. It is taking a base of pasta, pizza, or anything familiar and making it your own. It’s funny to answer this question now as I am in Italy and am experiencing some of this new age Italian every night. The best way to describe this style to home cooks, is younger, adventurous chefs having no limits and just making delicious food.”

While there is a sense of culinary adventure, Chef Danielle leans into her heritage. She said, “Mexican flavors are my wheelhouse- they are the first inspiration for my dishes as I think back to things my grandmother would make or trips I would take to Mexico just to eat! Being a Mexican chef, it was hard to find my voice at first. Mexican food back then wasn’t what it is today, and certain things that I thought most people wouldn’t like or try, are now on menus everywhere. People are being more adventurous!”

As Chef Danielle continues to find connections between food and culture, the truth is that great food on the plate depends ingredients used. Similar to how California cuisine showcases the fresh, local flavors, Chef Danielle appreciates how that concept applies to some of her favorite dishes.

She said, “I believe in seasonal cooking, and I love being back home to have the luxury of our farmers markets. For me, it’s like a kid in a candy store. I base my menus on what I see is fresh and what is in season and at its peak. If you have a beautiful product or ingredient, then not much else is needed in a dish; it speaks for itself.”

Even though local farmers markets can lead a dish in a particular direction, the reality is that Chef Danielle has found inspiration from her travels around the world. That love of travel started at a young again.

Specifically, Chef Danielle shared, “I love to travel. I was very lucky as an adolescent to travel with my family to many places, and as I was growing up it was the best form of learning and expression. If I had to choose one place I would say Kyoto- I am fascinated with the techniques and the art of Japanese cuisine. I think it would open my eyes to more flavors to see what other chefs are creating. The best part of traveling is meeting new, amazing people and eating together!”

In many ways, that influence of travel is part of the reasons why many people are enthralled with the Food Network and Discovery+ show The Globe. Although Chef Danielle has Food Network experience, this show is not like other culinary competition.

Chef Danielle revealed, “The Globe was truly about food. Yes, the other shows were fun and not to be taken too seriously, and they made me connections and garnered me some wins along the way, but The Globe was about passionate chefs cooking their hearts out for some of the best chefs in the world. It was an experience of a lifetime! How many people can say they cooked for Masaharu Morimoto, Daniela Soto-Innes, and Robert Irvine all in the same day. “

After her The Globe experience, Chef Danielle has a thought about the next big food trend. Although the speculation is hard, she did share her thoughts. She said, “I feel like so many new food trends are coming, but I truly feel that Mexican cuisine is emerging with new and exciting trends and pop-ups. For me, my cuisine “Mexitalian” isn’t a fusion, but rather it’s an elevation of the best of both of those worlds. I think you will see more combinations like that, but executed well.”

The Globe can be streamed on Discovery+ and has airings on Food Network. Chef Danielle Duran-Zecca has a restaurant in California, Amiga Amore, a catering business, and a hot sauce company.

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Have you be watching The Globe? What did you think of Chef Danielle Duran-Zecca on this Discovery+ food television show?