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  • This Great Big Story was made possible by Wells Fargo.

  • Established 1852. Re-Established 2018.

  • We all crave our grandmother's cooking, right?

  • Well, what if there were a place that you could go anytime and get that home-cooked meal from anywhere in the world?

  • That place exists in Staten Island, just behind that scaffolding right over there.

  • Meet Jo. He's Italian by way of Brooklyn.

  • My name is Jody Scaravella, and I own Enoteca Maria.

  • We don't employ chefs; we employ grandmothers.

  • When Joe opened the restaurant in 2006, he noticed something.

  • Every culture was coming to the restaurant to celebrate these Italian grandmothers,

  • so I thought to myself, “How nice would it be if we celebrated everybody's culture?”

  • And so, Nonnas of the World was born.

  • There are probably somewhere between 30 and 40 grandmothers from different countries.

  • My name is Habiba. I'm from Algeria.

  • My name is Lubof, and I am from Moscow, Russia.

  • (I am Rosa Correa, and I'm from Lima, Peru.)

  • I come from Sri Lanka.

  • Bulgaria.

  • Dublin, Ireland.

  • From Armenia.

  • Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  • Each night, there are two grandmothers cooking.

  • One is always Italian, the other, from somewhere else.

  • When they're in the kitchen cooking, it's a completely different energy.

  • It's their day to shine; it's their day to show what their cultural cuisine is all about.

  • You know, it sounds kind of corny, but they do cook with love.

  • And that feeling for Jo is about more than the restaurant.

  • When I opened the Enoteca, I was really grief-stricken.

  • My mom and my sister had passed.

  • It was comforting to have these grandmothers in the kitchen cooking and, you know, they would pinch my cheek and say, "You want to try this?"

  • And at that point, I realized that what we were doing was much bigger than I thought it was gonna be.

  • When you walk through the restaurant, if you listen, every table that you pass by, they're talking about their mothers or they're talking about their grandmothers.

  • It kind of evokes a trip down memory lane.

This Great Big Story was made possible by Wells Fargo.

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Dinner at Grandma's: The Restaurant Where Nonnas Rule

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/03/03
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