They say that you shouldn’t ever trust a “skinny” Chef but here at The Coffee Chic, we are putting that theory to rest. Meet Maurizia better known as Chef Mo aka my sister, and the Owner and Chef of Nonna Knows Catering based in Dallas, TX. I know that your first thought is that I must automatically have a biased opinion on this hardworking, creative businesswoman, but her résumé and accomplishments speak for themselves. A few of her favorite and most proud accomplishments include getting chosen to cook alongside Celebrity Chefs, Chef Roble and Chef Adam C. Banks and “Top Chef” Chef Tre Wilcox at an event, as well as her company getting selected with top industry chefs to serve a five course Sardinian Meal and Demonstration for the American Liver Foundation, and assisting Michelin Star Chefs from Dijon France in preparation for their Must’Art Event in Dallas.
This Boss Chic is classically trained in French Cuisine from Le Cordon Bleu. As a student at Le Cordon Bleu she found herself getting accepted as an Intern at Samar by Stephen Pyle’s (one of Stephen Pyle’s former restaurants in Downtown Dallas), and eventually getting hired on as a short order cook in an open kitchen as her first job. Chef Mo feels as if she was surrounded by incredibly talented individuals while at Samar’s, and learned a great deal while she was there.
One of the many questions people love to ask Chef Mo is what her “specialty” is, and with a few months of traveling, personal cultural inspiration, and a love for Italian food, Chef Mo’s cuisine is primarily Italian with other European and Mediterranean influences included. When she isn’t in the kitchen choppin’ it up for her clients she enjoys painting, going antiquing and binge watching Netflix with her husband.
Meet Chef Mo
What inspired you to become a Chef?
“My inspiration starts with my mom and grandmother, and growing up in a multicultural home with parents who are from opposite ends of the world. With a Sardinian mother and Black American dad, food was always a staple at family gatherings, holidays, birthdays, you name it. It was rare that we ever ate out, and almost guaranteed that my mom would have a fresh made meal ready for us as a family. One of my favorite memories is going to Europe to visit my grandparents, and rolling up my sleeves to help my Nonna make pasta from scratch.”
How did you come up with the name Nonna Knows Catering?
“The name “Nonna Knows Catering” is inspired by my Sardinian Nonna. Nonna in Italian means Grandma. Every dish that I make has a little touch of my Nonna in it, even if it isn’t an Italian dish. My logo is inspired from a photo of my Nonna in her 20’s that I designed, but I added a pair of cute sun glasses just for style purposes :).”
Are there any Celebrity or well-known chefs that you look up to?
“I have several such as French Chef Eric Ripert, Chef Roble, Chef Tre Wilcox, and Chef Adam Banks, as well as Chef Chuck Hughes. I was lucky enough to meet Chef Chuck Hughes while in Montreal, Canada and even took shots with him, haha! He was a cool guy. Obviously.”
What other jobs have you done that you enjoy?
“I have also been a personal chef for several. One of my clients included someone who had eight food allergies. Being a personal chef and/or caterer requires a great deal of creativity, attention to detail, and tailoring dishes to people’s pallets and to their wants/needs.”
Do you have any favorite culinary quotes?
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”-Julia Child
“Another I love but I’m not sure who wrote it is, “I’m a chef I’m here to feed your ass not kiss it.” Haha, promise I’m nice though!”
If you could give any bit of cooking advice to a regular person like myself, what would it be?
“Cook from you heart and don’t over think it, and use a recipe as a guide but add a little twist to your recipe to make it your very own.”
Alright, I’m your sister so I know all your dirt. Are you going to let the readers know what your favorite fast food meal was in high school?
“Fine. I had a weird obsession for McDonalds’ Big Macs. My justification was that I was running cross country at the time, so a Big Mac, or two, wasn’t the end of the world. One was NEVER enough!”
For more information on Chef Mo and Nonna Knows Catering, visit her website Nonna Knows Catering and follow her on Instagram @chef_mo.