Jody Scaravella was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He is the mastermind behind Enoteca Maria, a restaurant where the chefs are grandmothers ("Nonnas" in Italian) from different regions of Italy and from four corners of the world.

Both Jody's parents were hard workers, seldom home. De facto the head of the household in their family was Jody's mother’s mom, Nonna Domenica. She is the one who passed down to her famiglia her culture with, at its very heart, her culinary traditions.

I remember her going to the market every day, bringing her shopping cart. She stopped at the vegetable shops and bit a peach or tasted a cherry, and if it good she bought them otherwise she spit it on the ground with a disgusted expression on her face. I was amazed that nobody ever complained about it but, after all, everybody there knew her.
— Jody Scaravella, Enoteca Maria's owner

Nonnas in Training is a new project being rolled out by Enoteca Maria.

Growing up I realized that my grandmother had been the repository of our family culture and identity. And I found out that, like her, millions of grandmothers all over the world pass down their heritage to their grandchildren.
— Jody Scaravella, Enoteca Maria's owner
Nine years ago, moved by the wish of sharing Italian grandmothers’ culinary culture I opened a restaurant and called it Enoteca Maria. At Enoteca, several Italian grandmothers from different Italian regions cook their own menus on a rotating schedule.
— Jody S.

Nonnas in the kitchen

In 2011 I started flirting with the idea of extending the concept to other culinary cultures. I began working on the creation of the virtual book “Nonnas of the World”. A crowd-sourced recipe book where anybody around the world can upload their grandmother’s short bio, 3 photos and a recipe (written in their native language). My vision is that this book to become the most extensive collection of grandmothers’ recipes, their particular dialect, and memories, a testament to the culinary culture of common people from all over the world.
— Jody S.

Ninja nonnas: they protect their recipes and secret sauces like a treasure.

Next natural step, in July 2016, was inviting grandmothers of different countries to cook at the restaurant.

And now we rock!
— Jody S.


Take the Staten Island Ferry (free ride), enjoy awesome views of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan – before and after a delicious meal at Enoteca Maria. The address: 27 Hyatt Street, Staten Island, New York 10301. Phone: (718) 447-2777 | Open Wed-Sun 3pm till closing. Website:

=> Subway lines

=> Staten Island Ferry schedule