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Welcome to Taking Pure Joy! Thank you for visiting! My name is Teddy Danielson. I am a young woman from Santa Cruz, CA with a passion for all things food. I have been working as a private chef for about 4 years with my main focus being on providing weekly meal prep and delivery to busy families, couples, and individuals with specific dietary needs and/or not enough time in the day to put satisfying, healthy meals on the table. 

 

My Story

I grew up with a love for food and cooking. Growing up, my parents insisted that we sit down together for dinner as a family every night. Between 2 sports, 2 siblings, rigorous study schedules, 2 hard working parents, and all of the complexities life has to offer, we held true to this tradition until the day I left for college. These meals shaped me and instilled in me a deep appreciation for the way in which food can bring people together. I am forever grateful. 

Through those years, I developed a deep love of cooking and, as I moved through my BA in psychology, I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to somehow turn my love of cooking into a career. After graduating from Mills College in Oakland, CA, I decided I had to find out. I bought a one way plane ticket to Italy and enrolled in a tiny culinary school in Florence. I lived in Florence for the better part of a year wrapping my head, hands, and heart around Tuscan cuisine. Pizza, pasta, gnocchi, classic Tuscan soups, fish dishes that make you salivate just looking at them, pastry, gelato, and so much more. Next, I moved to Lucca, a smaller, less Americanized Tuscan city that welcomed me with open arms to immerse myself in the culture, the people and, of course, the food. 

Dad always told me that it was a bear to make a living in the food world. I believed him, so I chalked my experience in Italy up to just that...a beautiful experience. I followed another career but built and maintained a small clientele of individuals, couples, and families whom I cooked for once or twice a week. It was never my main gig, but it kept my love of cooking alive. In the spring of 2018, I ran into an acquaintance on the daily hike I take with my pup. She knew my background in food and asked if i would consider teaching a pasta making class for that coming Father's Day. I jumped on the opportunity. The class went beautifully and the rest was history. The family I cooked for asked me to cater an event. Guests at that event asked if I would deliver meals. Before I knew it, word spread and I had a full on business. I quit my "day job", moved closer to grocery stores, and embraced the adventure.

So here I am today, delivering meals to you and yours in hopes that more individuals and families get the opportunity to appreciate the beautiful way in which food can nourish your body, soul, and relationships. Thank you for taking the time to visit my site, to read my story and, hopefully, to explore my meal delivery services.