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Nonnas cooking up comfort on Staten Island

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ST. GEORGE,  Staten Island — When you’re looking for a comforting meal, there’s nothing like grandma’s home cooking.

One Italian restaurant on Staten Island is bringing that concept to the dinner table by hiring dozens of grandmothers or nonnas, in their kitchen. At Enoteca Maria, nonnas from 12-15 different countries bring their home-style recipes to foodies from near and far.

The restaurant was created ten years ago by Jody Scaravella, a former MTA worker of 25 years. After losing his nonna and mother, Jody longed for a place to enjoy a home cooked Italian meal.

It started with an ad in the paper seeking Italian housewives to make their traditional recipes. From there it spread to grandmothers. A few years later Jody decided to expand the kitchen to nonnas from other countries.

The concept has grown from an idea to a brand. In “Nonnas of the World,” families share their grandmother’s stories, pictures and recipes online. The book, “Nonna’s House” is a popular collection of food and tradition from the women inside the restaurant.

Now you can learn their recipes first hand in free cooking classes called Nonnas in Training. Classes are held from 11 am – 2 pm every day they are open, Wednesday through Sunday. You can register online: http://www.enotecamaria.com