As a child of Hungarian and Armenian immigrants, meal time has always been important to Ilona Daniel. She can’t pinpoint exactly what inspired her love of food, but fondly remembers “sitting on the counter while my mother cooked a meal that was always too big for our family, and absorbing everything I was seeing.” She added, “It was almost as if I was learning to cook through osmosis.”
Daniel moved to Prince Edward Island twelve years ago to attend the Culinary Institute of Canada on a full scholarship. Now an instructor there, her experience has come full circle. In addition to teaching, she runs a culinary consulting business and contributes regularly to print and television media.
Her love of PEI has only grown stronger over the years, and she attributes some of that to the more intimate connection that islanders have with their food. “Everywhere you look there is a constant reminder of how food is produced,” she said, “people who grow and produce our food are deeply passionate, and their expertise spans their lifetime. Connecting with them helps us understand just how important our role is as consumers.”