Mamma Mia: NYC restaurant features international grandmother chefs

Global Business

Fancy having someone else’s grandmother from as far away as Sri Lanka, Siberia or Syria prepare a home-cooked meal for you.

If you’re in New York City, you don’t have to travel far for that.

A small Staten Island restaurant boasts an astounding roster of international grandma chefs, serving up a taste of home.

But this is more than just a gastronomical adventure.

CGTN’s Lining Tan reports.

Mamma Mia: NYC restaurant features international grandmother chefs

In Enoteca Maria's tiny Italian kitchen on Staten Island in New York City, an Italian and international grandma chef is featured every day, drawing guests from all over the world. CGTN’s Lining Tan reports.

In Enoteca Maria’s tiny Italian kitchen on Staten Island, 65 year-old Zena Vartan prepares Metabel, a traditional dish from Syria.

Zena is from Qamishli, Syria, but fled with her husband from the violence of terror group ISIS to join her son and daughter-in-law in New York.

The former housewife was initially nervous about her first job in a foreign land, but things quickly changed.

Zena is among more than 30 international nonnas, Italian for grandmothers, hired by Enoteca Maria.

Jody Sacaravella, Owner of Enoteca Maria, first featured Nonnas from around Italy, before expanding the concept to Nonnas of the World.

Looking around here, it’s quite a limited space. It only seats about 35 people, but it offers up an international experience that’s never been done before.

Each day, Enoteca Maria features an Italian Nonna chef and an international nonna chef, and it’s become so popular that weekend reservations need to be made months in advance.