I’d like to share with you a smidge about me and how Cosmic Muffin came to be. In the early days, before donning aprons and chef’s jackets, my time was spent in leotards and toe shoes. Originally from the San Francisco Peninsula, I attended Lone Mountain College and danced in a local ballet troupe. Then on to San Diego, where I danced with the infamous Caché Dancers. So much fun, but food was not part of my lexicon. It was years later, after the birth of my third child when it became clear I needed to make a career change. But what could a wife and mother of three (later four) do that allowed me to take care of my family, yet still feed my creative nature?
Feed – Food – Cook!
Since age seventeen, I’d worked part time as a dance and yoga instructor, so teaching was something I was quite comfortable doing. I returned to school, adding a Certificate of Early Childhood Education to my Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree. While teaching preschoolers and kindergarteners, I began including mini cooking lessons, since cooking is such a hands-on experience and perfect for all types of learners. Cooking is a wonderful way to teach the concepts of math, art, and science. These short introductions to cooking bubbled into full-length lessons, expanding into classes for teens and adults. However, I was often asked where I had gone to culinary school. Personally, I thought being of Italian and Puerto Rican descent was the best culinary training anyone could ask for, but realized formal training would be fitting. Again returning to college, I obtained my Certification in Culinary Arts.
Cosmic Muffin (café) was born out of necessity; personal necessity. My youngest brother, Lawrence, was engaged in a long and arduous fight against cancer. But even after a valiant effort, he lost. I feel fortunate I was able to help care and cook for him during that time. It was after his passing, I ran into someone who attended Foothill Jr. College at the same time I had. When they said they didn’t recall anyone named Deborah Costella, I explained Costella is my married name. In school I was known as Cosmic Muffin. I had a reputation for being a little spacey back then. When someone else asked, “What kind of muffins were you making?” The light bulb flashed. Why hadn’t I been preparing Medicinally Infused food for Lawrence? The Medicine, he’d been smoking to relieve nausea, dull pain and increase his appetite, could’ve easily been Infused into the small meals I’d prepared for him. My sadness morphed into the realization that what I’d failed to do for my brother, I could do for others. Thus, Cosmic Muffin (café) was born.
Today, Cosmic Muffin café – A School Of Cookery continues to provide Foods with an emphasis on the Medicinal ingredients provided by Mother Nature. Herbs, Spices and Plant Material ranging from Cannabis to Cicely, Paprika to Bishop’s Weed do more than just add flavor, they offer good Medicine. Hippocrates’ adage; Let Food Be Thy Medicine & Medicine Be Thy Food instructs Cosmic Muffin offerings with foods to suit your personal tastes and physical needs. Best of all, my in-person and virtual cooking classes teach you how to nourish your mind and body by artfully incorporating the plethora of remedies sitting in your own spice cabinet!
When I’m not in the kitchen, you’ll find me at my desk where I cook up food stories for various Cannabis and Culinary publications. I’m currently working on a second cookbook in response to the positive receptions received from my first: One Four-Ounce Serving – A Collection Of Food Stories & Recipes.