April 23, 2024


Food & Travel Enthusiast

The restaurant in which authentic Italian moms rule the kitchen area

(CNN) — Like a lot of Italians dwelling overseas, Peppe Corsaro missed his mother’s cooking.

Born in Sicily, he moved to London when he was 16, and soon started off yearning for his home flavors and traditions — especially the bustling Sunday lunch, when mothers and grandmothers cooked timeless favorites for an open-air, marathon feast that could easily spill into the evening hours.

After he designed up a vocation in the cafe business, Corsaro was enjoying a evening out with friends when just one jokingly suggested that he really should carry about his mom to cook dinner.

He took it critically.

“I reported to myself, why not? So I identified as my mom and I questioned her. She reported: ‘I’ll come tomorrow.'”

That’s how La Mia Mamma started. The eatery released as a pop-up in 2018, before rising to present day pair of dining establishments and a deli.

Mamma’s cooking

Mamma Emilia making pasta. Each mamma spends about three months working in the restaurant.

Mamma Emilia creating pasta. Each individual mamma spends about a few months functioning in the cafe.

Daniel Ogulewicz

The premise is simple: actual Italian mothers and grandmothers are recruited from one of Italy’s 20 areas.

They then shift to London for a 3-thirty day period residency, showcasing their personal traditional recipes based mostly all over their community delicacies, ahead of handing more than the chef’s hat to a new brigade of mammas from a diverse location.

It is really an exciting established up, because foodstuff in Italy differs wildly relying on geography.

La Mia Mamma recruits real Italian mothers and grandmothers for residencies at its London's restaurants.

La Mia Mamma recruits authentic Italian moms and grandmothers for residencies at its London’s dining places.

Giulia Verdinelli

Even though many of the meals that are normally affiliated with Italian cuisine — lasagne, tortellini, prosciutto crudo, ragù, parmigiana — all arrive from the very same region, Emilia Romagna, you will find an abundance of variety and hidden gems to learn in other places, normally in places that would be off the crushed route for most holidaymakers.

At the time of creating, La Mia Mamma is concentrating on Campania and Lazio, two adjacent regions on the southwest of Italy, host to Naples and Rome respectively.

Standard recipes

A selection of dishes from Abruzzo, a relatively underrepresented cuisine from a south-eastern region on the Adriatic coast.

A choice of dishes from Abruzzo, a relatively underrepresented cuisine from a south-jap region on the Adriatic coastline.

Giulia Verdinelli

Lazio’s cuisine has surged to the spotlight in recent years, with this kind of classics as carbonara, amatriciana and cacio e pepe, a deceptively easy pasta dish, produced of just 4 components, that is truly a single of the hardest to make thanks to its delicate system.

But the region’s “cucina popolare,” or comfort meals, also features lesser-recognised delicacies these types of as coda alla vaccinara, an oxtail stew that isn’t effortless to come across outdoors of Lazio by itself.

Each and every restaurant has a few mammas, who are 1st screened in Italy by social media.

“We are not looking for skilled chefs, but housewives who cook dinner for their families,” claims Corsaro, adding that the picked candidates are then flown to London for a demo, following which they are specified lodging, a transportation card and a salary, similar to that of a sous chef.

Most of the mammas, who are normally in their sixties and generally retired, have hardly ever lived abroad in advance of.

They all provide their individual recipes, and perform to be certain that they are executed to perfection, with the aid of experienced kitchen team.

Three-month residencies

A view of one of the restaurants. Both are located in Chelsea, London.

A view of 1 of the eating places. Each are situated in Chelsea, London.

Daniel Ogulewicz

Their existence is not minimal to the menu the kitchens are seen from the avenue, so passersby can capture a glimpse of the mammas at function, and they’re joyful to mingle with patrons.

“You see them everywhere you go. They’re often about, earning people check out what ever they have been cooking. They will even dance with the company,” states Corsaro.

The venues are all positioned in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where by Italians are a person of the premier foreign resident teams and contributed the greatest number of new residents in the many years proper before the Brexit referendum in 2016.

So far, no mamma has at any time been turned down just after the demo, and they’ve all tailored properly to London metropolis lifetime, albeit with some changes.


Corsaro with his mother Anna Famà, still left, the authentic ‘mamma,’ and Mamma Sara.

La Mia Mamma

“They often inform me the town is also significant, they are not employed to being on the road for an hour to get someplace, so we have to obtain them lodgings near to the restaurants,” suggests Anna Famà, Corsaro’s mother, and the authentic mamma.

Just after her stint, she determined to stay, and now acts as an ambassador for incoming mammas, assisting them to settle in.

“It hardly ever transpired that a mamma still left content to depart, and these who have absent often request me when they can appear again,” suggests Famà, adding that even though cooking for 200 individuals can get busy, there is always a peaceful ambiance in the kitchen area.

“If some thing goes mistaken, we can generally repair it,” she states. “For me, this is not a work, it’s my household. I hope I’m transmitting that to the mammas.”