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Meet Daniela Vicentini of Foodgazmz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniela Vicentini.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Surprisingly, it all started when I was 10. I had told myself that when I grew up, I would be a journalist and a chef. I took my first culinary classes when I was 14, but that dream soon died during high school, and I didn’t think much of it, until later in life. Little did I know, that 17 years later, I would make those wishes come true. I received my bachelors from the University of Miami in print Journalism and worked in newspapers and magazines for a few years. But something in my life was missing, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

For me happiness is to wake up every day and to go to work with a smile on my face and when you truly love what you do it doesn’t feel like work (as cliché as that may sound, but it’s true). And I wasn’t happy at all at my job during that time. My best friend was taking classes at the MDC Culinary Institute and invited me to take a tour. That same week I visited the facilities, quit my job and signed up for classes for the upcoming semester. Two years later I had my degree in Culinary Arts, and I had made my own dreams come true.

At this time, I had my food blog “Foodgazmz” but I always wanted to have that “extra credibility” that comes from someone who actually went to culinary school and to not just be a typical “foodie” or “blogger,” I wanted to speak with a sense of authority, to be taken seriously! I wanted to know more about food itself, the processes, to understand where food comes from and how to handle it. I worked in a few restaurants during those two years and learned what it was like to be exhausted, to have no life, a terrible salary and to never sleep. The crazy thing is that even though it is mentally and physically draining, I still loved working in restaurants and hanging out with my “kitchen family”, who turn out to be the only people you see daily (more than your own flesh and blood).

A few months before graduation, I met Nidal Barake (my current boss). He is the co-founder of Gluttonomy, a marketing and consulting agency that specializes in the food industry. I couldn’t believe I had found my dream job! I was actually the first official employee, and I have currently been here for the past 2 and a half years. I do miss the kitchen sometimes, but my job requires me to interact with cooks, chefs, restaurants, food and beverages brands, so I don’t ever feel that the kitchen is that far away from me. Food is my passion, my hobby, my job, and my life!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I think deep down we all have struggles and battles whether they are internal or external. The truth is my challenge was finding a niche. I kept asking myself throughout the years what really speaks to me. What am I passionate about? What makes me forget about the world around me? What makes my eyes sparkle? The answer was food. Of course, it took me many years and at least seven different jobs (which included, newspapers, PR for real estate, internships at magazines, freelance writer, etc.) to realize that. So, the real challenge wasn’t only figuring out WHAT I was interested in, but HOW I was going to do it? Would I become a food writer? A food critic? Would I work as a line cook at restaurants until I got tired and burned out? These were the options that were floating in my head.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Foodgazmz – what should we know?
I’d like to say I have two jobs really. One that pays the bills and the other one that feeds my soul. Foodgazmz my food diary as I like to call it is pretty much for everyone to see where and what I am eating. I recommend dishes across the globe (depending on where I am traveling, or it might be local eats as well). If I don’t like a restaurant, I will never post about it. I feel like sometimes social media can cause a lot of harm to businesses and people don’t even realize it! But I would much rather emphasize in all the good restaurants out there than focus on giving out bad reviews. Everything I post I have tasted, and I have never been paid to post anything. For me, it’s about credibility. I feel that when you are getting compensation to post, then your credibility and objectivity goes out the window. I am mostly known for recommending restaurants, and I either receive phone calls, texts, DMs, messages from close friends or complete strangers asking me where can they dine in Morocco, or when can they have the best seafood in Sevilla, and even locally where can they get the best pizza in Miami? I get bombarded every day with a lot of questions for personal recipes or where to dine, and to be honest; this is what makes me grin from ear to ear. This is what I mean when I say this “job” feeds my soul! I love it, and I enjoy talking to strangers who trust my taste and ask me where they should go eat…it’s a great way to connect with people.

My other job Gluttonomy is my dream job as I mentioned previously. I get to interact with chefs, restaurants, food and beverage brands on a daily basis and help them out with marketing and consulting. It’s the perfect combination of everything I studied. I’ve definitely made a lot of chef friends along the way and created solid relationships with many of my clients.

I live, breathe and work for food! Who wouldn’t want that?

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