At This New York Restaurant, Grandmas Run the Show
Around the world, cooking traditions tend to pass through families, from grandmother to mother to daughter and so on.
So when Jody Scaravella decided to open an Italian restaurant in New York, he went straight to the source to do the cooking. He found a “nonna.”
Today, nearly 12 years after Enoteca Maria opened in Staten Island, it’s not just one nonna — the Italian word for grandmother — who is in charge. It’s many. And they come from around the world. “Today it’s Japan; tomorrow, it’s the Ukraine,” says Scaravella, during a phone interview. He’s had grandmothers from Palestine, Greece, China, Russia, Colombia, South Korea, Bulgaria, and beyond as cooks, in addition to the on-staff Italian grandmother.