Mediterranean Escape
P.O. Box 1389
Santa Ynez, CA 93460

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About Da~na

 How and why Mediterranean Escape got started.

I was born in Athens, Greece and then moved to a beautiful Greek island, Corfu, which lies at the entrance of the Adriatic Sea. I spent my childhood living on Corfu swimming with Dolphins and catching seahorses. Looking back it seems almost unreal.  We lived in Gerald Durrell’s family home, the Snow-White Villa, which sat upon a hill top tucked away amongst the olive trees. It had a long veranda along the front side covered with grape vines.  I have fond memories, eating Greek dinners with my mom and playing with my brother Erin O’Connor on the veranda.  Erin and I also spent time in a small village named Peekolatica located right below our house.  I spent a lot of time helping and watching the Grandmothers (Ya-Ya’s) of the village prepare the village dinners.   This is where I learned and developed my palate for all my recipes to come. 

Later in my life we moved to Paris, France because my mother was accepted to the fine art school, the Sorbonne.  While my mother attended classes, my brother and I played in the huge ventilation tunnels, spying through the vents, watching future ballerinas, artists and sculptures attend classes. 

After Paris the family moved to Santa Barbara, California.  Soon after arriving in Santa Barbara we met Hugh Carpenter. He quickly became apart of our family. Hugh Carpenter is one of the most popular and entertaining cooking teachers in America. He also has written 15 very popular cook books. Hugh is my God father and taught me how to test and develop a recipe and how and where to apply it.  He is truly my mentor and inspiration and very important to our family. 

My mother, Linda O’Connor, was a wonderful writer, journalist and also worked as a radio talent in Santa Barbara and abroad, for KDB (KTMS), CBS and the BBC.  When she retired she moved back to Greece and married a Greek man named Panos Sikolas.  My mom and I loved talking on the phone 2 or 3 times per week sharing ideas for recipes.  This helped me continue my study of Greek and Mediterranean cooking until she passed away from heart failure at age 61. My mom will always be in my heart and recipes; therefore, I dedicate my first recipe, my salad dressing, (“Da~na’s Greek Island Dressing”) to my mother.  She taught me about love, laughter, Greek cooking, art and so much more.  She truly is missed.

The health and well being of my family is most important to me. Family dinners are the best thing you can do for your family and is where you can connect as a family. My children, Dillon age 7 and Demitrea age 3, love to help me make dinner. My wonderful husband, Don Spoor, is my best food critic and gives me great feedback on all the recipes I develop. It is my feeling that balanced meals are the way to remain healthy and active and to maintain your ideal weight while eating all these delicious foods that we are offering to the public.

Holidays are always a time for large gatherings in our home (Birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc).  We invite lots of family and friends from our community.  My Greek food has had such an overwhelming, positive response over the years.  People have said: “This food should be shared with the world”.  Mothers called and told me how their children started eating salad because they used my home made salad dressing.  After hearing this over and over I developed my recipe and business plan.  This is how and why Mediterranean Escape was inspired.  We hope you enjoy the food as much as our family and friends.


  Dana Spoor
  © 2008-2012