Live Like a Local

Welcome to Diva Dolci !!

As mentioned in our bio, we are a wife-husband team who wants to share unique travel tips, and ideas of how to immerse yourself into new cultures. Each city we visit, we search for the most genuine, local experience we can – from a vacation rental embedded in a dynamic neighborhood to a cheese shop which features a local cheese monger creating one-of-a-kind aged specialties.

Visiting Pont du Gard Aqueduct in Provence.

It’s important to us to stay off the main touristy streets and experience what it’s like to “live like a local”. We have tried far too many touristy restaurants, only to be disappointed by the price paid for a mediocre meal. Our goal is to share with you our perspective on how to ‘be a local’ in your travels.

While we do enjoy the ease of dining out, we are passionate about creating our own nourishing meals and pairing our own wine. Rather than staying in a hotel, we typically rent an apartment (with a kitchen) while on vacation, and look for a local farmer’s market in order to cook ‘at home’ using fresh, local ingredients. It is easier on the travel budget, and it’s also incredibly satisfying to create a home-cooked meal that might be typically prepared in the city we are visiting.

Explore local markets for the best ingredients!

Sometimes communication in another country makes shopping at these markets challenging, but we always find vendors who want to engage with us – even if we both stumble for the correct pronunciations. Big smiles and laughter almost always ease the situation. Choosing a wine to pair with our meal allows us to explore regional terroir, and generally drink something we are unable to source from the United States. Sourcing our ingredients and interacting with people who live and work in the neighborhood is an invaluable educational experience!

Concentrating while making mayonnaise.
David making homemade mayonnaise in class.

As a Pastry Chef, Janan is well-versed in creating delicious pastries, chocolates, cakes, and breads, and together we have become excellent cooks. We are excited about sharing stories from our travels while teaching simple techniques to produce special culinary delicacies at home. We appreciate the value of sharing food with other people, and hope you will enjoy trying some of the recipes we formulate. Recipes will be posted here, and as an added benefit to those in the Minneapolis area we will offer occasional hands-on baking and cooking classes in our home.

Teaching cake decorating.
Chef Janan teaching cake decorating class.

Our experience has been that when you open yourself to new foods, opportunities and people in your travels, wonderful and lasting memories are created – those special moments that enrich your life. We have been known to share an entire day with people we just met a few hours earlier, and, in the end, benefited with long-lasting friendships. To us, this is one of the most beautiful parts of traveling – meeting new friends, making memories, and coming home with the hope of visiting them again someday. And photos instantly have stories to go with them!

Sharing lunch with ladies recently met in Avignon.

Join us as we travel the world, provide recommendations on the road less traveled, and share our experiences/recipes/thoughts from our journeys.

Bon Journée!!

Janan & David