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After Joe Scaravella’s grandmother died in 1999, he really missed their traditional Italian family meals together.

To bring back these comforts of home, in March of 2007 he created a restaurant in Staten Island, New York, he called Enoteca Maria, where different Italian grandmothers — or ‘nonnas’ — would cook the meals they served their families for decades.

Scaravella then decided he wanted, as he says, to “celebrate every culture,” and added a melting pot of nonnas to his staff. There are now 30 rotating nonnas ages 50 to 91 from Italy and other countries including Japan, Peru and Sri Lanka serving up their native cuisines three nights a week to adoring diners.

The home-cooked meals these nonna chefs create change daily.

“Most of these ladies, their husbands have passed away, the children have grown up and they’ve moved out,” Scaravella says. “They’re packed with culture and they need an outlet. And that’s what we do — we provide that outlet.”

Source: People